Cabarete, Dominican Republic.- At approximately 1:00pm on Monday a spectacular solar halo hung high in the sky, craning curious bystanders necks to witness the unusual sight.
Despite the eeriness of the floating disk, which darkened the sky around the sun itself and was contained inside what looked like an inverted rainbow, these halos happen. Instances of similar halos (parhelion) have been documented from the Caribbean to the Antarctic region, all around the globe.
Science explains that the natural phenomenon is most often caused by ice crystals suspended in high clouds -- up to 10 km above -- refracting the light at a 22 degree angle.
With temperatures on the north coast peeking at around 33 degrees Celsius on Monday, it’s hard to imagine icy cirrus clouds in the vicinity, no matter how high; however, before meteorology came on the scene, these halos were known storm predictors.
So, regardless of the murmurings of some of Monday’s more nervous onlookers, we still aren’t welcoming the horsemen of the apocalypse, but could be in for a rumbling sky later this week.