Ghost Rainbow spotted in Central Florida

Chief Meteorologist explains ‘fog bow’ on Talk To Tom

When most people think of rainbows they think of colorful displays in the sky, but people in Brevard County were recently treated to a different kind of weather phenomenon.

The National Weather Service said a white arc was on full display in Viera.

The agency shared the image on Twitter.

Experts call it a fog bow.

It is similar to a rainbow, “but the much smaller water droplet size means the color separation is weaker and more smeared, thus making the fog bow appear mostly white.”

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Chief Meteorologist Tom Sorrells chimed in on the interesting sight on Talk to Tom.

“This is about as good of a fog bow that I have ever seen someone take a picture of,” Sorrells said. “It is sort of a rainbow only it’s being caused by fog and the angle of the light hitting the little water droplets, hits it at just the right angle that it splinters and we always say it acts like a prism that sets that up for that fog bow.”

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He said they are usually seen at the beginning or end of the day.

“Sometimes you will get them when the sun is setting low or the fog is setting in early in the morning,” he added.

Sorrells also said you can see them at night.

“Sometimes you will get them at night from a big bright full moon, but it will be kind of a colorless almost a bow that just looks kinda like smeared light that makes that arc curve. That’s the same thing happening only at night reflective of the moonlight. Instead of it being a totally beautiful color, it’s a weaker light, like you took your thumb and smeared it across there.”

Sorrells has been forecasting weather in Central Florida for decades.

During this episode of Talk to Tom he also discusses the sleet that came down in Brevard County on Christmas day and the Central Florida town just named the lightning capital of the U.S.

You can watch Talk to Tom every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. or anytime on News 6+.

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About the Author:

Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.