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Does Anyone Know What Causes These Lovely Cloud Rainbows?

Updated on December 27, 2012

Rainbow Clouds

Finding Rainbows in The Sky

Last week while driving my granddaughter to school, I happened to see the clouds in the sky outlined with beautiful rainbows. I told her to look up and see all the rainbows. We both had to stop and look carefully at the beautiful clouds---so many of them edged in all the colors of the rainbow. I had never seen anything like it before. We both thought that it was a wonderfully magical sky.

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    • signgirl profile image
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      Carol Hill 4 years ago from Palmetto, Florida

      Thank you so much for that information; I appreciate your comment.

    • dustygi profile image

      dustygi 4 years ago from Florida

      That is a great picture. The phenomenon is called cloud iridescence or as I call them, iridescent clouds. As a pilot, I have seen this wonderful phenomenon many times. They are typically seen in medium to high clouds such as altocumulus, altostratus and cirrus clouds. The "rainbow effect" is caused by supercoold ice crystals that make up the cloud, diffracting the light passing through the cloud. Usually the cloud is near the sun from the view-point of the observer.