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May 28, 2019

Photo shows 'fire rainbow' at Avalon beach over holiday weekend

Nature Photography
avalon jersey shore sunset Jon Tuleya/PhillyVoice

As the sun sets over of the bay in Avalon, New Jersey, a boat floats on the inlet

A natural marvel was on display at the beach in Avalon over Memorial Day Weekend.

A man at the beach on Sunday shared a photo of a rainbow he had never seen before.

Meteorologists refer to this phenomenon as a "fire rainbow," which occurs when the sun rises 58 degrees about the horizon and its rays shine through the ice crystals of wispy cirrus clouds.

Also known as circumhorizontal arcs, fire rainbows tend to occur most often in the middle of the summer. Their appearance depends on the latitude of the location and atmospheric conditions.

Cirrus clouds occur at high altitudes when ice crystals form in colder temperatures. The crystals refract light from the sun, which creates the colorful spectrum in the cloud.

Others also reported seeing the fire rainbow at nearby Sea Isle.