January 13, 2008 in Keepers Log, More Logbook

Sun dog & halo

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Sun Dog

Yesterday evening prior to sunset, a brilliant sun dog appeared to the right of the sun. Refracted by ice crystals in the upper atmosphere, the sunlight displayed a partial spectrum of color. This “mock sun” gave the appearance of a double sunset.

This morning, a halo was visible around the sun. I first noticed the halo in its reflection in the glassy surface of the river. I photographed it over the roof of the boatshed to mask the glare of the sun. Traditionally, halos and sun dogs foretold precipitation (rain or snow). This prediction often holds true because halos and sun dogs are produced by ice crystals in cirrus clouds preceding a precipitating front. It’s accurate in this instance because snowfall is forecast for tonight with 3-5 inches of accumulation expected by morning.

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