Friday, July 13, 2007

Double Rainbows are a Good Sign for the Zoo Run Run This Weekend

Once again for the third consecutive night nature gave us quite a show in the sky. This time it was in the form of double rainbows and sunshowers. First let's take a look at this beautiful double rainbow sent in by Doyle McIntosh. What makes them interesting is the colors on the second rainbow just above the primary rainbow (tough to see in this picture, but it is there) are inverted. So the brighter rainbow has the colors in order from red to violet, while the secondary rainbow has colors from bottom to top that range from violet to red.

This brings us to our blog question of the day: What causes this phenomenon?

Well, remember that a rainbow is caused by the refraction of light off the backside of a raindrop. But what most folks do not know is that we are seeing the effects of refraction and reflection. As the sunlight hits the raindrop it is refracted and then it is reflected inside the raindrop before it is refracted once again off the backside of the raindrop as the light leaves the raindrop and helps make the primary rainbow. A secondary rainbow or double rainbow is caused by sunlight being refracted as it enters the raindrop, then it is reflected twice inside the raindrop before being refracted once again off the backside of the raindrop. So it is the double reflection inside the raindrop that makes this rare and beautiful sight. Remember to turn your back to the sun when looking for rainbows.

It this was not enough, we also had reports of sun showers. That is right, we had the sun shining at the same time it was raining which are the two ingredients we need for our rainbows. Here is a great picture showing this sent in by Dan Miller.

Join me tonight at 5,6, and 11 from the Clinton County Fair and I will tell you more about why these clouds have plenty of silver linings in them for the weekend. I will also have your Zoo Run Run forecast which is at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning at Columbian Park. It includes a 5k Fun Run and a 5k and 3k Fun Walk. The kids can even partake in a 1K Fun Walk. I look forward to helping with refreshments and prizes. There will also be a nice pancake breakfast courtesy of Bison. I cannot wait to see everybody. It is hard to believe this is the fifth year of the race and it has grown into one of Lafayette's premier running events. Pre-registration has already topped 200! Your support is greatly appreciated and remember all proceeds go to the Friends of the Columbian Park Zoo. The Friends of course are helping with the exciting new renovation of the zoo. Future plans include bringing new animals to the zoo such as wallabys, emus, and even penguins. So have some fun in the sun and it is for a good cause. All participants should be able to put those free pool passes to good use at Tropicanoe Cove.

Have a great day! I will share all the good news with you tonight and also talk about a big typhoon in Japan that will help superheat our weather forecast by later next week. I will post a picture of the Typhoon that has already slammed Okinawa, Japan this morning with wind gusts close to 110 mph. Make sure to enjoy this nice weather while you can. Next weekend temperatures may flirt with 100 degrees. More details coming your way on the tube tonight and here on the blog. Check back and tune in! Make it a great weekend!

1 comment:

Richard said...

There is a link to a good pic of a double rainbow that was seen during Burning Man 2007... absolutely amazing!