Rare weather event causes stunning ‘fire rainbow cloud’ to appear

Several people in Jamaica have captured stunning images and footage of a rare weather phenomenon dubbing it a ‘fire rainbow cloud’.

The unusual weather event occurred recently and is referred to as cloud iridescence according to meteorologist Nick Wiltgen.

One of the many stunning images of the rare cloud formation. Source: Facebook & Beckie Bone Dunning.
One of the many stunning images of the rare cloud formation. Source: Facebook & Beckie Bone Dunning.

"In clouds, iridescence is a by-product of sunlight being diffracted by water droplets or ice crystals, causing the various wavelengths of light, which we see as colours, to emerge at different angles," Wiltgen commented.

"As they reach the observer's eye, the observer perceives a pattern of various colours as those different wavelengths reach his or her eye from distinct directions, rather than being jumbled together and appearing whitish."

Another beautiful snap of the rare cloud formation. Source: Edmundo Jenez.
Another beautiful snap of the rare cloud formation. Source: Edmundo Jenez.

The images and footage posted on social media have since gone viral.

Holiday-maker Beckie Bone Dunning was at the Jamaican port town of Ocho Rios when she snapped the rare occurrence on camera.

"I looked up and saw this," she wrote on The Weather Channel’s Facebook page, "never seen it before in my life. Can you explain it?"

Another stunning image that was posted on social media. Source: Edmundo Jenez.
Another stunning image that was posted on social media. Source: Edmundo Jenez.

Holidaymakers and locals were stunned by the sudden appearance of the cloud formation in the sky.

She added: "I didn't have a clue what it was. I pointed up and said ‘oh my God look, at the sun!’

This is the second time this year this type of cloud has appeared.

A similar cloud type appeared in Costa Rica with locals believing it was a sign of God.

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