What causes sun pillars to fill the sky with wondrous colors?
Tue, 06 Mar 2012 13:30:39 GMT —
Click on our slide show above of fabulous photos from this morning's sun pillars. I first started to receive these in my e-mail inbox at 6:30am this morning. The first was from Douglas Trush from the town of Nelson. Anytime I receive neat pictures like this, I make a quick weather graphic and get it on the air, on
my Facebook page, and on my Twitter page to share it with all of you.
More picturesque photos have come in since then. Were you lucky enough to see this in person and take a picture? Let us know if you did see it and/or snap a photo with comments here. You can always upload photos to
our Facebook page and CNYcentral.com.
What causes sun pillars? According to multiple websites, including this one,
here, "sun pillar is a vertical shaft of light extending upward or downward from the sun. Typically seen during sunrise or sunset, sun pillars form when sunlight reflects off the surfaces of falling ice crystals."
This morning, we had specific set of circumstances that allowed this to occur. The "falling ice crystals" were gently falling snowflakes from weakening lake effect snow showers and flurries. Remember, though, we need to also see the sunshine to get the sun pillar. So, obviously the sunshine was out.
In this case this morning, the clouds producing the snow showers and flurries were weakening so much that as the snow was falling from the clouds, some of the clouds were actually disintegrating and breaking up to allow the sunshine to occur, just as the sun was rising. This combination does not happen that often. However, we are sure glad it did to allow these spectacular shots.
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