After the storm, the sky put on a show

Sun Dogs and Halo at Wakefield. Photo by Sharon Babst
Sun Dogs and Halo at Wakefield. Photo by Sharon Babst

The morning after a record-setting February snowfall, the sky was alive with ice crystal optical effects. These are more typical in high, thin clouds, but can also occur when large numbers of ice crystals are suspended in the air after a strong winter storm.

Halo in Geary County. Photo by Rick Dykstra
Halo in Geary County. Photo by Rick Dykstra
Sun Dog in McLouth. Photo by Terry Reiling
Sun Dog in McLouth. Photo by Terry Reiling
Sun Pillar at Bala. Photo by Deanna Nelson
Sun Pillar at Bala. Photo by Deanna Nelson
Sun Dogs and Halo at Wakefield. Photo by Sharon Babst
Sun Dogs and Halo at Wakefield. Photo by Sharon Babst

The light from the sun is refracted at 22° through ice crystals, giving a circular halo around the sun. At the halo location to the left and right of the sun are bright spots that appear to follow the sun “like a puppy dog.” These are the sun dogs. Quite a site on a bitterly cold morning in Northeast Kansas!

– Storm Track Chief Meteorologist Matt Miller

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