A tourist was amazed when she looked up and saw an incredible rainbow in the clouds while holidaying in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Beckie Bone Dunning posted a photo of the phenomenon onto The Weather Channel’s Facebook page writing “I was in ocho rios Jamaica last week, storn [sic] clouds were approaching.. didn’t quite cover the sun yet.. I looked up and saw this.. never seen it before in my life. can u explain it?”
Her post led to other users sharing photos of similar rainbows.
According to weather.com senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen, the phenomenon is known as cloud iridescence.
“In clouds, iridescence is a byproduct 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,” says Wiltgen.
“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.”