Halo around the sun may mean rain - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Halo around the sun may mean rain

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Source: Cary Allen Source: Cary Allen
Submitted by Holly Taylor Submitted by Holly Taylor

People all over Lubbock are looking up at the sky and talking about the strange ring around the sun today.

Most people say it means rain, and our own John Robison tends to agree.

John tells us, "The halo ring is caused by ice crystals that form the cirrus clouds. They indicate a change in weather and can indicate a chance of rain. We do have rain chances increasing tomorrow and Tuesday."

Jody James with the National Weather Service in Lubbock explains:

"The phenomena is called a perihelion or a 'sun dog.' Basically what you get is the light being refracted by ice crystals high up in the clouds," James said.

James is the warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Lubbock. He says the phenomenon doesn't do much, beyond creating a beautiful sky.

"It's really just an optical feature caused by some clouds up there where airplanes fly, way up there, where temperatures are probably 0 degrees to 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit," James said.

He compares the process to a prism. The sun shines through the ice crystals and the light is split, giving off a reflection on either side, something that happens often, but for the circle to be this defined is something special.

"To get the distinct, crisp circle is more unusual - conditions have to be just right to see that," he said.

As for the chance of rain? He says sometimes a "sun dog" can indicate moisture and he's keeping his fingers crossed that this one will bring some rain.

"Sometimes that does signal a change in the weather or a weather system coming in, maybe that portends good things to come."

Drop by and share your photos of the event on our Facebook page and tune in tonight at 10 to hear more from KCBD Weather.

SLIDESHOW: A Halo Around the Sun

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