Rare Rainbow in Singapore Sky

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Earlier this year, the population of Singapore was treated to a very unusual sight. For fifteen minutes late in the afternoon a multi-coloured glow, similar to that shown above, appeared in their sky. 

This fire rainbow, which belongs to the family of ice halos, is technically known as iridescent clouds or even a circumhorizontal arc. This rarity does not have the looks of a normal rainbow, which seems to touch the Earth’s floor and then rises into the clouds.

In Singapore, the incredible phenomenon was so bright that onlookers even mistook it at first for a UFO!
Fazidah Mokhtar, who works in a childcare centre, told the BBC: “It started as a small orange circle and then grew bigger and bigger till all the colours came out… It lasted for about 15 minutes and it slowly went off.

“All the children in the school, some parents and other staff were very excited and commenting that it was very, very rare to see such a beautiful and unique rainbow.”

This form of rainbow occurs when the sun’s light refracts through ice-crystal clouds. The only way for the phenomenon to happen is if everything else aligns. Cirrus clouds (thin and wispy) should  be at 20,000 feet height with the sun at 58 degrees and the ice crystals in the clouds need to be hexagonal plate shaped.

To add to its novelty, the event itself only ever lasts for a short period of time.


Alyssa, Year 5

Burgh School

4 Responses to Rare Rainbow in Singapore Sky

  1. Emily April 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Great article Alyssa! This is the first time I have ever heard of a fire rainbow! 🙂

  2. Millie & Libby April 20, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Well done Alyssa, we both enjoyed reading your article. It was really interesting! 🙂

  3. Amira April 20, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Amazing article! It is probably better than an article I would write!

  4. Lily April 20, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Great article Alyssa :-]