A rare V-shaped sun halo observed over Florida

You don’t see this every day, especially in Florida. On April 23, a pair of glowing Vs appeared above the setting sun, caused by ice crystals in the air. Dan Gore photographed them from Viera, Florida.

“They lingered for about 5 minutes and then everything disappeared,” says Gore. “It was a beautiful sight.”

These are solar halos, one rare and one common. The lower “V” is a normal upper tangent arc created by sunlight passing through pencil-shaped ice crystals.

The upper “V” is a rare arc created by ice crystals, but … to make this duplicate arc, the crystals had to be horizontal, not rotated, and equilateral in shape.

What’s all this ice doing in the Florida air? The crystals were located in cirrus clouds 5-10 km above the ground, where the air is always very cold – even in Florida. Double V arches prefer colder climates, but they can appear in the sunny state of Florida as well.

It is likely that atmospheric dust, due to increased cometary and volcanic activity, contributes to the appearance of a “strange sky”, which we are witnessing, the cooling effect of which causes the formation of ice crystals.