Monday, October 28, 2013

The Mystery of the Snowbow

Is there such a thing as a snowbow?

My spouse and I saw this in the sky last Thursday about 4:50 pm in Johnson City, New York.  We were having a mixed rain/snow shower and we suddenly saw this rainbow - or snowbow? in the eastern sky, while driving.

I took a couple of pictures through the windshield of our car.

Looking online, I find that there may (or may) not be such a thing as a snowbow.

This says no.

This says yes, but what they describe isn't what I saw.

What I think I saw, though, was a true rainbow, produced by the rain component of the shower.

Still, it's the first time I've ever seen a rainbow associated with snow.

To my science minded readers - what do you think?


  1. I have seen many a rainbow without visible rain (it was raining far away)- and some snow can form when the air near the earth is colder than above- which happens near fast moving fronts... So.... I vote yes.

  2. Hum! Hum! I'm no scientist. But it seems to me that this effect is caused by sunshine and water. Snowbow sounds perfect to me.

  3. I've seen a "snowbow" before, Alana, so--so far your commenters all vote YES! (Though I'm far from being science-minded, I am intensely curious about the world around me. Does that count?) Beautiful picture, by the way!

  4. Great question and point... How about a hailbow!


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