A spectacular fire rainbow appeared over the South Carolina sky leaving beachgoers in awe of its beauty and unusual shape.
The rare fire rainbow showed up over the Isle of Palms in South Carolina for almost an hour Sunday and the dozens of beach visitors were delighted. As is common with these types of occurrences, social media lit up with all the breathtaking photos.
WSCS viewers flooded the network with photos of the beautiful phenomenon questioning why it was happening and what it was. Some comments described the fire rainbow as an angel watching down on them.
Such was the case with Tracey Smith, who captured a stunning photo of the fire rainbow. She said the celestial image reminded her of a friend who passed away recently.
Accu Weather explains some fire rainbow facts and how it is not as rare as you would believe.
“This stunning type of weather phenomenon is neither a fire nor a rainbow. The reason lies behind the process. Rainbows are formed by refraction and and reflection of light.”
“Fire rainbows, technically called iridescent clouds, form in developing clouds, often in thunderstorms. In these clouds uniformly sized water droplets bend light, producing an array of breathtaking colors.”
“This beautiful weather phenomenon is more common than you might think. Some of the only spots on earth that see a lower frequency include central and northern Europe.”
— The Weather Network (@weathernetwork) August 19, 2015
— Shea Gibson (@WeatherFlowCHAS) August 16, 2015
— KFVS News (@kfvsnews) August 18, 2015
Learn more about the gorgeous fire rainbows that have been popping up recently >> http://t.co/Ug9YUSEMuo pic.twitter.com/yxM8PcXaKW
— Discovery (@Discovery) August 19, 2015
If you’re lucky enough, you may be able to catch a fire rainbow in the sky, especially if you live at a mid-latitude and it’s the middle of summer. However, just as important as the angle of the sun are the Cirrus clouds — the thin, wispy clouds that occur at higher altitudes — according to IFL Science.
Social media users also took to Instagram to share photos of the amazing images over the South Carolina beach.
Have you ever seen a fire rainbow?
[Image via Jeff Kubina/Flickr]