New Delhi: While we have all been fascinated by rainbows since childhood, a rare phenomenon known as ‘white rainbow’ caught the attention of netizens after it was visible in the UK recently.
The stunning visuals of white rainbow, also known as fogbow, flooded social media after the weather phenomenon was visible off the coast in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, BBC reported.
Explaining how the ‘white rainbow’ was formed, BBC forecaster Dan Holley said, “On Saturday, the low cloud and fog thinned along parts of our coast, allowing the sun to break through, while fog persisted inland. This created ideal conditions for fogbows “
— Pinkfoot Cley (@pinkfootcley) December 18, 2021
So, how does a white rainbow form? According to the UK Met department, a fogbow or white rainbow is formed in a similar way like a traditional rainbow when sunlight interacts with water droplets.
— Oskar Brennan (@Oskar_Brennan) December 19, 2021
While in a typical rainbow these droplets are raindrops, a white rainbow is formed when sunlight interacts with small water droplets in fog, mist or cloud.
The droplets are also between 10 and 1,000 times smaller, leading to the light being diffracted in a different way. This makes the fogbow appear colourless.
As the fog at Kessingland just started to dissipate a bit this impressive fogbow appeared. pic.twitter.com/k9VkYhx0Fo
— Andrew Easton (@Leostoff) December 18, 2021
“A fogbow is similar in some respects to a traditional rainbow forming from sunlight interacting with water droplets contained in fog, mist or cloud rather than interacting with raindrops as it does in a classical rainbow,” the UK Met office says.
A similar phenomenon was spotted in 2017. A white rainbow was seen over the skies of the Scottish Highlands.
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