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‘Why’s the rainbow upside down grandma?’...So why was it?

The circumzenithal arc
The circumzenithal arc

An unusual weather phenomenon was spotted by a seven-year-old on Saturday.

The upside down rainbow, also known as the circumzenithal arc, was noticed by Ella Pryer, with the photograph sent to us by her grandmother Cheryl Spratt.

This type of rainbow is rarely seen because they appear so high in the sky and are created by sunlight bouncing off ice crystals high in the atmosphere.

The ice crystals form wispy cirrus clouds and these are usually formed at between 18,000 and 40,000ft.

In order to be able to see a circumzenithal arc, a combination of atmospheric conditions must coincide at just the right time.


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