8.4.13 How 'Bout Those Rainbows

8.4.13 How 'Bout Those Rainbows

Rainbows popped up around the area today- find out how they form!
Occasional showers and thunderstorms dotted the landscape this afternoon, producing some briefly heavy rains and even some small hail in towns like North Hero, Colchester, South Burlington, Orwell, Rutland, and Littleton, NH. As I discussed yesterday, the hail occurred because of a cold pool of air above us.

After the rain, many around our region enjoyed stunning views of rainbows. But have you ever wondered how those rainbows form? It turns out certain conditions need to be met.

First of all, you need rain and a few glimmers of sun. Rainbows can only form after sunlight interacts with rain drops. To observe a rainbow, the sun must be BEHIND you as you face the rain.

Sunlight entering the rain drop, known as visible light, is refracted by the water. That essentially means the light bounces back once it hits the drop. As that happens, different wavelengths of light are separate. That wavelength separation results in the distinct colors we see in the rainbow itself.
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