Rain, Dear. Games. (1)

double_rainbow_small So today’s rain-storm-driven activities involved staring out of the windows at various impressive downpours and marveling at the lightning and thunderclaps. This latter formed an interesting coincidence since I was reviewing grant proposals this morning, and one of them was about the science of certain types of high energy phenomena associated with lightning bolts. They were good to see, since Southern California (at least the LA part) has relatively few and relatively lame offerings in the way of thunderstorms. I miss them terribly.

In the early afternoon, we finally decided to go off to a museum. A good indoor activity. However, we got caught in a downpour between parking and museum and decided that, despite the two giant umbrellas we had deployed, our coverage was wanting and we were all too damp to continue. So we returned home. It was a good thing that we did, since just before sunset the sun peeked out from under the clouds. This was pointed out to me, and immediately I noticed that it was still raining I declared (on the basis of those two conditions) that we ought to get a spectacular rainbow in the opposite direction. We looked and sure enough there it was. So outside we went (getting back into soggy shoes one more time) – mum, sister, nephew and I – to enjoy looking at the (double) rainbow for a bit. (See a post I did last year on a double rainbow and how you see what you see, and why your rainbow is your very own.) I’ve blotted out some buildings from the panorama I stitched together for your viewing interest.


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3 Responses to Rain, Dear. Games. (1)

  1. Ele Munjeli says:

    I actually saw a triple rainbow once, at Polihale on the island of Kaua’i. It appeared that the inner arc was dissolving and reforming on the outside.

  2. Clifford says:

    My guess – and I could be totally wrong – is that you would probably not have seen a triple, since that third bow is formed in the direction of the sun and is so very hard to see and almost certainly not if you were not already looking for it. What you probably saw were supernumerary rainbows. That would explain your “dissolving” observation, since they form most strongly at the blue of the primary bow, so on the inside, and then (but hard to see, so great spotting!) at the blue of the outer bow, which is above. They occur as a result of interference effects.



  3. Carol&Co says:

    It was our first double rainbow and I am so pleased to have captured it as a reminder of the event. cmj+