PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The sky put on quite an interesting show Wednesday in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Many spots around the area, including Downtown Pittsburgh, were treated to what is called a “Sun Halo.”
It is a ring that appears around the sun, sometimes taking on a rainbow effect. These are caused by larger ice crystals in the upper atmosphere that reflect light.
These larger ice crystals came in with the higher, cirrus clouds earlier in the day. While sun halos are neat, there was an even cooler weather phenomenon that occurs using similar principles, but slightly different ingredients.
Did you happen to see what most people call a “rainbow cloud?”
You can see one in these pictures that came to us from Brownsville.
This phenomenon is actually called “Cloud Iridescence.” These rainbow clouds are caused by sunlight being refracted by tiny cloud droplets or ice crystals.
Sometimes these clouds are very vibrant, like the ones in the pictures from Brownsville.