A special good morning to Denise Peters who sent us this beautiful picture Wednesday of the afternoon sun completely encircled by a halo.
First off, what a great picture!
Secondly, Denise asked CMOS Accredited Weathercaster Chris Sumner what she was looking at, and whether it was similar to Sun Dogs in the winter. Chris tells us the weather term for the phenomenon is a “Sun Halo,” and just like Sun Dogs, is caused by the refraction of light through ice crystals at high altitudes in the atmosphere. In this case it looks like the suns rays are refracting through cirrus clouds which are typically found at high altitudes... 20,000 feet or more.
Denise also wondered if this Sun Halo could predict stormy weather to come, because there is the old weather saying, “Ring around the moon means rain soon”. As for predicting rain... Chris supposes they can, in a way. Cirrus clouds typically form ahead of approaching weather systems, and are blown out and away from those systems. With the expectation of stormy weather Thursday evening throughout Southern Manitoba, the timing does fit pretty well, but we wouldn’t be relying on this forecasting method exclusively!