In photos: Frigid weather lets the (sun) dogs out in Canada
Sunday, December 31, 2017, 2:16 PM - The bitter chill gripping most of the country has been unleashing one of the atmosphere's most beautiful optical phenomena across the country.
Sun dogs - more properly known as parhelia - are bright spots that appear to either side of the sun, frequently as bright white patches, but sometimes as reddish patches or swaths of rainbow. A member of the family of halos, sun dogs are most commonly spotted when the sun is low to the horizon - near sunrise or sunset. Formed by sunlight refracting and scattering through plate-like ice crystals, they can be spotted in any season, but are most commonly seen in winter when those ice crystals can form lower in the atmosphere.
LOOKING AHEAD: Check back on January 3 for a look ahead at what we can expect for the first month of 2018 and beyond. Will the polar vortex continue to dominate or will we see an extended January thaw?
And - as most Canadians know - there's been plenty of cold, ice crystal-friendly air across the country. While that's been disrupting New Year's Eve plans and sending many inside, it's also sparked a wave of beautiful photo opportunities, and Canadians have been sharing.
One of the most striking was posted online by photographer Brent Mckean, who snapped not just the sun's loyal 'pets', but eight other optical phenomena as well, in this stunning shot from eastern Manitoba.
The Weather Network meteorologist and science writer, Scott Sutherland, labelled a copy of the image, detailing the variety of atmospheric effects on display.
Mckean wasn't the only one to capture dazzling pictures of the solar display, however. Our viewers have been sharing their own shots from coast to coast.
Enjoy some of the best that have been sent to The Weather Network on social media or uploaded to our online galleries.
Janene Jones. Red Deer, AB. Dec 29 2017
Steve Cole. Winnipeg, MB. Dec 31 2017
Brett, Okotoks, AB. Dec 31 2017
Cheryl Hughes-Robbins. Callander, ON. Dec 31 2017
Josie Laurin. Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carre, QB. Dec 28 2017
Bruce Hollins. Winnipeg, MB. Dec 29 2017
Jason Foisy. North Bay, ON. Dec 31 2017
Thumbnail courtesy: Mitch Battle, Jasper, AB.