Rare “Fire Rainbow” Captured In South Carolina’s Skies

Residents of Isle of Palms, South Carolina, were surprised to see this very rare and beautiful natural phenomenon over the weekend.

Jackie Hill

The circumhorizontal arc — otherwise known as a fire rainbow — is a twisted and colourful cloud. They occur in high-level cirrus clouds that are made up of tiny ice crystals.


“To produce the rainbow colors the sun’s rays must enter the ice crystals at a precise angle to give the prism effect of the color spectrum,” meteorologist Justin Lock told 14 News.

Christy Cawley

He added that the sun must be at an altitude of at least 58 degrees above the horizon. “Again, it has to do with getting the precise angle.”

Tracey Smith / accentsbyalex

Well, whatever the science, it’s an incredible sight.


3rdnlong / Shea Gibson