Clouds, rain make colorful easel for Mother Nature again

Rainbow spotted from the Clinton to Mukilteo ferry crossing during Memorial Day Weekend. (Photo: Toby Smith)

A lot of focus this month across the nation has been on stormy weather, but some calm weather has been dazzling a bit as well...

The photo above was taken by Toby Smith as he crossed on a ferry from Clinton to Mukilteo.

Then, a few days later way over in Ontario, Kathy Veck snapped a few shots of a brilliant fire rainbows in Ottawa.

"At first, the colours seemed independent of the two clouds on either side - sort of like a rainbow bridge!" Veck said. "After a few minutes the colours appeared to be on the upper or lower edges of the cloud."

The "fire rainbows" (which have nothing to do with fire or traditional rain+sun rainbows) are caused by the ice crystals in those cirrus clouds refracting the sunlight like a prism.

You can find more photos of her fire rainbows in the gallery above. And if you want more photos, check out this gallery from our Weather FAQ.

P.S. Wondering how I got photos from Ontario? Apparently that FAQ entry about rainbow halos around the sun went viral some years ago and still to this day pops up atop Google when people see it outside and search the topic. So I get about 10 emails a year from all over the world with rainbow halos/fire rainbows when they happen. Very cool!