Ultra Rare for Alabama: a 22º halo at ground level!

You don’t see this every day on Sand Mountain!  Sure, we get halos, sundogs, and arcs in the sky on a weekly basis, but we rarely see them at ground level here in Alabama.  This 22º halo from Peggy Ponds in Albertville on Tuesday, December 11th is quite a find.

Why so rare?

Halos, sundogs, and arcs form when sunlight is refracted through ice crystals.  Those crystals are hexagonal plates that look something like this:

As the sunlight bends into the spectrum upon exit from the plate, it shows off the optical phenomenon we see as a ring around the Sun or Moon.

On Tuesday, we had freezing fog that was precipitating out small ice crystals that were shaped like this.  The closest description I can find to what we observed is from the Arctic and Antarctic: diamond dust.  

We were in no wise ‘Arctic’ Tuesday morning, but conditions were just right for something like that diamond dust to develop in North Alabama.  Here’s a video I shot from Research Park in Huntsville showing the small crystals ‘snowing’ down out of a clear sky:

One thing’s for sure: the weather is never really boring. There’s always something cool to find if you’re looking in the right place!

Looking for the forecast? It’s always online at WHNT.com/Weather and in the “Daily Forecast” section on Live Alert 19!

Connect with me!
Facebook: Jason Simpson’s Fan Page
Twitter: @simpsonwhnt

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.