SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) If you happened to look skyward today you saw a halo around the sun. Don’t worry it’s not ominous, and is actually pretty common.
The halo forms when high altitude cirrus clouds drift overhead.
Those cirrus clouds are made up of ice crystals, which act as miniature prisms.
A prism can break up white light into the individual colors of light. Think Roy G. Biv (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet)
The halo forms 22 degrees from the point source of light.
If conditions are correct, you can end up with other halos and optical phenomena.
What does it mean?
Folklore says that when you see a halo, expect rain in 8 hours.
What’s happening is that cirrus clouds are streaming out ahead of a weather system (could be rain or snow).
Assuming the steady movement of weather systems, precipitation should arrive in roughly 8-12 hours.
These halos are not all that rare; you just have to remember to look up.