Double Rainbow!

Meteorologist Josh Fitzpatrick talks about what causes a rainbow and the rare double rainbow.

Many folks across the Kanawha Valley saw a brilliant display of a double rainbow Wednesday evening as the rain was moving away and some sun broke through just before setting.

We received countless photos of the rainbow in the Charleston area and one of them came from our e-Reporters, Jon Browning in South Charleston, pictured below.

Basically what causes a rainbow is when sunlight going through raindrops gets refracted or bent, causing the colors of the spectrum to be shown. 

That's how a regular, single rainbow is formed.  The photo above shows a double rainbow though.   Basically the sunlight gets reflected twice inside the raindrops and if you look close, the colors on the outer band are reversed from the main rainbow.  The angle of the sun was just perfect to cast this double rainbow.  Talk about right time, right place!  Most rainbows are seen in the late afternoon or evening.  That's because the angle of the sun is lower and is able to shine through the rain just right to cause a rainbow.  Sometimes you can see a rainbow in the morning.  But those are the most rare.  To see another great photo from Jon of a morning rainbow check out my weather folklore blog I wrote a few weeks ago!  It's an amazing shot.

As always keep the great photos coming along with your weather questions and comments.  Post them below and thanks for reading.  Keep checking my Ask Josh weather blog for more weather answers.  Follow me on twitter: or look me up on facebook.

Make it a great day!

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