The brilliant rainbow band covering the lake is an optical phenomenon caused by ice crystals refracting sunlight.
Amateur photographer Cessna Kutz shared a photo of a horizontal rainbow spanning the surface of Sammamish Lake in Washington state, U.S., to Facebook on March 24. Kutz took the first wide-angle shot from his home window around 2 p.m. local time, while the second was a close-up.
According to Courtney Obergfell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle, United States, this could be the result of a fiery rainbow phenomenon. “This optical phenomenon is a halo of ice formed by the refraction of sunlight by ice crystals in the atmosphere. In its full form, it can appear as a horizontal rainbow-colored band below the surface. of the Sun. God, ”Obergfell explained.
According to the Department of Geography at the University of Santa Barbara, fiery rainbows only appear when the Sun is 58 degrees above the horizon. The band of brilliant colors parallel to the horizon is formed when sunlight hits through high cirrus clouds or fog containing flattened ice crystals. When aligned with each other, ice crystals act like a lens to refract light, and the refractive intensity is greatest when the Sun is at an angle of 68 degrees.
The prevalence of rainbows of fire depends on geographic location. In the United States, rainbows of fire typically appear several times a year, but are rarer in areas like northern Europe. This phenomenon cannot be observed in countries above 55 degrees north latitude or 55 degrees south latitude because the sun always rises below 58 degrees, according to the World Meteorological Organization.