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CINDY DAY: A rare sight in the sky over Nova Scotia

Intriguing photo taken April 2 by Karen Allison in Windsor, N.S.
Intriguing photo taken April 2 by Karen Allison in Windsor, N.S. - Submitted

Most of us have been lucky enough to look up at the sky and see a sun dog or a lovely halo. Tiny ice crystals in the atmosphere create halos by refracting and reflecting light. Ice halo displays range from the familiar circle around the sun or moon to rare and prized events like this one.

Monday morning, Karen Allison saw something very special overhead in Windsor, N.S. In the photo she shares with us, the sun is just off the bottom of the picture. The small, white arc you see just below the middle of the photo is an upper tangent arc: it forms at the top of the halo. But the “piece de resistance” is the colourful arc above that. It looks like a little rainbow but it’s actually a circumzenithal arc or CZA. If you’re hunting for a CZA, don’t go out at lunch time. The sight occurs only when sun is less than 32.3° high and really is at its best when the sun is about 22° high. In this case, it was just after sunrise.

Karen was lucky -  the circumzenithal arc is not spotted very often. I’ve heard it described as an "upside down rainbow" by some. I think it looks like a smile in the sky.

Thank you for sharing that amazing photo Karen; it made me smile!

Today’s weather fact

Every year, approximately one septillion snowflakes fall to Earth. Have we reached our quota?

Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.

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