New Brunswick·Photos

'Fire rainbow' spotted over Saint John

A rare weather phenomenon known as “fire rainbow” was spotted over Saint John from several people in the region.

CBC meteorologist Peter Coade explains rare phenomenon known as circumhorizontal arc or 'fire rainbow'

A rare weather phenomenon known as "fire rainbow" was spotted over Saint John from several people in the region.

Peter Coade, a CBC meteorologist, said fire rainbow is a rare phenomenon that is formally known as circumhorizontal arc.

Coade said the colourful cloud formation requires very specific conditions to be in place.

"When the sun is very high in the sky, sunlight entering flat, hexagon shaped ice crystals gets split into individual colours just like in a prism," he said.

"The conditions required are very precise – the sun has to be at an elevation of 58° or greater, there must be high altitude cirrus clouds with plate-shaped ice crystals and sunlight has to enter the ice crystals at a specific angle."

Did you see a "fire rainbow" over your community? Email CBC New Brunswick the picture.


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