What's up with the red rainbow in the Plymouth/Canton area?

A red "rainbow" was seen in the sky last week after the storms.

- Several viewers sent FOX 2 some amazing pictures of a red rainbow spotted around the Plymouth/Canton area Saturday night following the storms. What causes something like this?

It's a great question and the answer comes down to the science of reflecting light.  The sun rises in the east and sets in the west (duh, we all know that).  In the mid latitudes weather systems move opposite that - west to east.  When a storm system moves past us (again, traveling west to east) the setting sun has no clouds above it and its rays can reflect off the eastward traveling clouds to give a reddish color.  This is what we saw on Friday night: clouds moving east reflecting the setting sun's light and showing up as red.

Some people will also remember the line "red sky in morning, sailors take warning."  This happens because when the sun is rising (in the east) and a storm system is approaching (from the west) the sun's rays will again reflect off the this time approaching clouds.  If the clouds are approaching, that may mean a storm system is heading toward us... hence the "sailors take warning" part!

Pretty cool huh?

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