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Five photos: Fire rainbows

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Find Your Forecast
    Cheryl Santa Maria
    Digital Reporter

    Thursday, August 21, 2014, 2:30 PM -

    The term ''fire rainbow'' was coined by a Washington journalist in 2006.

    It's the informal name for what meteorologists call a circumhorizontal arc.

    While rare in Canada, they aren't unheard of. 

    Weather Network meteorologist Dayna Vettese says the conditions have to be ''just right'' for these spectacular arcs to appear. "When the sun travels through tiny ice crystals in the atmosphere you tend to see this effect," she says, "but the sun has to be high in the sky -- at least 58 degrees." Circumhorizontal arcs most commonly occur in cirrus clouds -- but only when they're aligned horizontally. "You're more likely to see this type of rainbow during the summer here in North America," Dayna says. "But in places like Europe, the arcs are much rarer."


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    1. Submitted by Steve Powell on August 3, 2012, Beaverton, Ontario


    2. Submitted by Nicole Watson on March 12, 2014, Kingston, Ontario


    3. Submitted by Michele Lawlor on July 10, 2012, Orillia, Ontario


    4. Submitted by MediaVice DotCom on June 20, 2014, Niagara Falls, Ontario


    5. Submitted by Sue McLean McLean on June 30, 2013, London, Ontario


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