(WSYR-TV) — The picture of a fire rainbow attached to this story is from Kayleigh Barber who was on a walk in the Virgil/Dryden area Saturday afternoon when she came across the rare sight! Thank you to Kayleigh for sharing this great picture with NewsChannel 9!
You may be wondering what’s a fire rainbow? It is a rare phenomenon that actually has nothing to do with fire.
It is the bending of the sunlight/moonlight through a circumhorizontal arc of high altitude wispy cirrus clouds that consists of ice crystals. These ice crystals refract or bend the light rays which leads to the spectacular rainbow colors you see.
Due to the nature of how the light is hitting the horizontal cirrus clouds, the fire rainbow isn’t arcing like a traditional rainbow but is more distorted depending upon the cirrus cloud(s) shape(s).
Unfortunately, we will probably not have a chance to see any type of rainbows coming up the next 2 to 3 days since we will probably not have any sunlight coming through the clouds. Click here for more details.