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'Fire Rainbows' Appear Across Pa. Skies

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'Fire rainbows' appear across Pa. skies; here's what causes them

circumhorizontal arc (Laurie Makie)

Folks across Pennsylvania caught a glimpse of a rare colorful spectacle in the sky Wednesday – a "fire rainbow."

The textbook name for a "fire rainbow" is circumhorizontal arc, the colors in the sky have nothing to do with fire.

This rare view happens when sunlight hits thin, wispy white clouds at just the right angle.

In order for this to happen, the sun has to be high in the sky, which happens midday.

Sunlight enters ice crystals, which are tiny pieces of ice that make up a cloud, and then gets bent.

The bending of the sunlight causes the colors of a rainbow to show up.

Technically speaking, the fire rainbow is not a rainbow because no rain was involved in making it.

Many viewers in Jefferson and Clearfield Counties share their photos of this on our the WJAC Facebook.                                                                                                                                                                            https://wjactv.com/news/local/fire-rainbows-appear-across-pa-skies-heres-what-causes-them                                                                                                                  


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