The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
-Psalm 19:1

Do you know that God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?
-Job 37:15

Friday, May 09, 2008

Solar halo and sun dogs and TORNADOES... oh my...

Sky Watch Friday post time!!! (Please visit Tom's blog to participate.) Today, I have chosen my solar halo shot to post. It is my first and only time witnessing a solar halo first hand. I had seen photographs of solar halos taken by others but had never personally caught one. I saw this one on the way to work one morning.

A halo (also known as the 22° Halo, nimbus, icebow or Gloriole) is an optical phenomenon that appears near or around the Sun or Moon. There are many types of optical halos, but they are mostly caused by ice crystals in cold cirrus clouds located high (3–6 miles) in the upper troposphere. The particular shape and orientation of the crystals is responsible for the type of halo observed. Light is reflected and refracted by the ice crystals and may split up into colors because of dispersion, similarly to the rainbow. Source.

22ยบ radius halos are visible all over the world and throughout the year. Look out for them whenever the sky is wisped or hazed with thin cirrus clouds. These clouds are cold and contain ice crystals in even the hottest climates. The halo is always the same diameter regardless of its position in the sky. Sometimes only parts of the complete circle are visible.

When looking for halos ALWAYS shield both eyes from the sun. Never stare close to it even for a moment. Preferably, hide the sun behind the edge of a building or post. Take care when photographing halos if the unshielded sun is in the field of view. It is dangerous to look at the sun through some camera viewfinders, especially SLRs - do not take risks! Source.
On this specific solar halo, there were sun dogs on either side. I see sun dogs all the time, and I love them! Here is a photograph of my favorite sun dog shot.
A sun dog or sundog (scientific name parhelion, plural parhelia, for "beside the sun") is a common bright circular spot on a solar halo. It is an atmospheric optical phenomenon primarily associated with the reflection or refraction of sunlight by small ice crystals making up cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. Often, two sun dogs can be seen (one on each side of the sun) simultaneously. Source.

Now, let me touch on this horrific situation in Myanmar, just to offer an update. I can't imagine... I just can't imagine. Those innocent people, victims of a militaristic regime, which places absolutely no value on human life. They must not realize that their actions will wipe out their population... after this, they won't have anyone left to torture or hold captive. The much needed aid that the UN sent over was confiscated by the junta, forcing the UN to stop the aid, and now there are a million or so folks in desperate need of safe food and water. Not to mention, they are living among rotting carcasses. Horrendous. Here is an article if you are interested.

Onto yesterday's severe weather outbreak. I am struck by the one two three... four punch being offered up for the southern states by Ma Nature. Check this out...
Thursday's Outlook:Friday's Outlook:Saturday's Outlook (now with a moderate risk for severe weather):... and Sunday's Outlook (happy Mother's Day to me!!! A chasetunity!):
With the limited visibility yesterday, which prevented Alabama Mike from seeing anything, he sure has been given a few do-overs. Btw, he posted a youtube video that he found of the Leighton, AL tornado that passed through a parking lot tossing cars around like pieces of scrap paper. Check it out.
Now, as for yesterday's weather, there were a total of 21 tornado reports, with one tornado in NC resulting in a fatality and some injuries. The tornado in Tupelo, MS was rated an EF-3, which is not surprising considering the photographs of the damage I saw of that area. With another few days of potential outbreaks in heavily populated areas, we need to continue to pray for God's mercy. People keep those weather radios turned on!!!

Some reports are available for yesterday's tornadoes:
1. Storm Survey Report for northeast MS (click here), done by the
Memphis, TN - NWS office
Photographs and Local Storm Reports yesterday

2. Storm survey report for north Alabama, done by the
Huntsville, AL - NWS office

3. Nashville, TN - NWS office (no report yet)
Local Storm Reports

4. Storm survey report for western Kansas done by the
Goodland, KS - NWS office

5. Wilmington, OH - NWS office (no report yet)

6. Raleigh, NC - NWS office (no report yet) (this is the area that had a fatality reported)

Stay tuned.



  1. fantastic one for SWF! Hope you'll visit mine too... Happy weekend!

  2. I did stop by, snap catch, and thanks!!

  3. I have often wondered about those halos. Thanks for the explanation and the great images.

  4. Thank you for these thrilling photos, and for the welcome information and warning.
    I was amazed to see a huge halo around the moon one night in Switzerland and did not understand. Guess it's more mystical when you don't know the science behind it. But either way, it's a miracle!

  5. I saw a halo once. It was a thrill. Your shot is perfect.

  6. Hi Dew..
    I keep looking for one of these, or in deed a moon one to capture.. yours is a crack.. and the sun dog.. I must read up more on then.

    Thanks for taking time out for what looks to be a busy ime with your weather.. it's been a hell of a week and the news from Burma is very sad... keep up the good work Dew but keep safe


  7. The halo is dew-riffic!!!!
    Kidding ... it's amazing!

  8. Sandy, You're very welcome. As I said, with it being my first, I was thrilled!

    Dina, I love lunar halos too. I see them much more often. Sorry to ruin the mystique. Definitely miraculous.

    Jane Marie, THANKS! They are thrilling!!!

    Tom, A crack? Is that a British expression? I'm not familiar with its meaning. It is busy season for me... just wait until hurricane season in the Atlantic basin, begins next month. ;O) I will do my best to stay safe. Happy Friday, Tom, such a gracious host.

  9. Anne, Thanks!!! Bunches!!!

    Quintarantino, Uh oh, you caught the Dew bug. There is a group of people out there who find ways to work Dew into familiar words. I think it's my fault. Someone suggested a glossary... A Dew-ctionary of sorts. lol Thanks, Quint.

  10. The HALO shot is amazing. Thanks for teaching me something I did not know.

  11. You're very welcome. I am glad to!

  12. Amazing! :)
    I guess the solar halo made your day by the sight! ;)))


  13. It very much did! I loved it! Thanks.

  14. That's amazing. I've never seen one. That tornado viedeo was incredibly scary. I've heard many watches & warnings in my 33 years in the south, but have been fortunate in that they've never come near me. My mother is deathly afraid that one will someday find her.

  15. Thanks again Dewdrop. I will be posting more later about my day....I just put a video up.

  16. Howdy chickadew, Nice skywatch photo!
    I see you have added some weather knowlage to your blog,very cool.
    Thanks to a friend(same friend who let me use his computer this morning) I now have acsess to the internet. He gave me his wireless card from his old computer so now I can borrow my neighbor connection. It's slow kinda like dialup but I will take what I can get right now, not being able to watch the radars in the busy torando seaon was killing me!
    Happy Mothers day to you!! And have great weekend!
    Love, Chickadee

  17. Beautiful shots... as always. Congrats on the solar halo... you are lucky to capture it on camera... i have seen it but not been able to prove it... LOL!

  18. Barb, It was pretty amazing. The video was amazing, also. Sorry your mother is so terrified of the tornadoes. Where does she live to be so afraid?

    Mike, It truly was my pleasure. I am glad to assist whenever I am available. I will be sure to check out the video.

    Jess, Welcome back to cyber space. I have missed you chickadee!!! I am glad to share all the knowledge I have. The more I share, the more people know how to protect themselves... well, not from solar halos... lol. Have a wonderful Mother's Day!!! Much love. :O)

    Michele, Thanks! I'm sure you'll capture one... one of these days... and imagine with the mountains. It should be a beaut.

  19. Very interesting. And the second photo is absolutely stunning

  20. Thanks, Jenty, and THANKS! I love that shot... one of my all time favorites.

  21. Great Pictures.

  22. Excellent post, beautiful and excellent images.

  23. Great photos.
    You get my vote for best SWF today.


  24. Very good post! I love the sun halo and have never seen one before but I did catch a sun dog once. Of course I didn't know what it was until someone told me. lol

  25. great.. i have even seen the circle and the sun in the middle...

  26. Moderate risk on your back door could be a Day of days for you and Alabama Mike!!!


  27. Thanks a bunch Daniel!

    John, I appreciate your visit and compliment.

    Troy, Wow! Thanks! That's a pretty huge compliment.

    Dot, lol. It was amazing to see. I knew about them, but had never seen one until this one, and lucky me, camera ready. :O)

    Carletta, thank you, dear.

    Beth, Thanks!

    Jeff and Nova, Thanks. Isn't it cool?!

    Mikey, You read my mind, just about to make a rare weekend post about the set up. :O) Chase plans abound.

  28. Definitely going to be a perfect setup for a major tornadic outbreak over the next 48 hours. This is the big May event we have been waiting for. Happy Mothers Day to you!


  29. Thanks for the link to this page, Dewdrop. Here's the deal: I was only in Tupelo for an artfair May 9,10 and 11. The tornado hit before I arrived, but I was in a Tupelo motel for the "major tornadic outbreak" referred to above by Storm Chasing Mike.

    You have a fantastic blog, btw. I just wish I didn't have such a darned slow dailup connection to the Net that makes it difficult to load.

    Great shot of the sun halo.

  30. Mikey, you sure pegged that one...

    Marvin, my pleasure. Things were further east for the Mothers Day event. Glad you weren't impacted. I am glad you like my blog... sorry it's so slow for you. If you get the chance at broadband, I highly recommend it. Prices have really come way down on it, and it is well worth the expense. You'll never go back. Appreciate the compliment. :O)


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