Oh Beautiful for Rainbowed Skies: Rare Horizontal Rainbow Over Oregon

I was driving north on I-5 (north of Portland OR, south of Longview WA) and saw a rainbow appearing to end on a car ahead and one lane to the left of me. This worked for the center and right lanes, for 5-10 minutes.

Never saw a horizontal one, though.

Posted by Sam L. at July 4, 2007 7:53 AM

I once saw one of those in the sky over Enumclaw, around 1992. There weren't any visible clouds that I could see, though. Unfortunately, the picture I took has long since disappeared. Thanks for sharing these; there may be a logical explanation, but it still takes the breath away.

Posted by Juliec at July 4, 2007 10:41 AM

On day in college, I happened to look up... and stopped dead, looking at the rainbow straight up. Circumzenital arc (similar to the circumhorizontal arc.)

Thank God I didn't care what I looked like. I just stood there with my head up for several minutes.

Posted by B. Durbin at July 4, 2007 12:29 PM

So true. A fire rainbow, rain falling while sunshine warms your face, a shooting star, the deeply resonating sound of acappella singing in a tiny Russian chapel, the calving of ice off gigantic blue glaciers, and oh so much more. Transcendant beauty and miracles all about us if we but have eyes to see and hearts to accept.

Thanks for this reminder, Gerard.

Posted by Jimmy J. at July 4, 2007 2:55 PM

Love this! According to the Bible, the rainbow is God's way of assuring us His covenants are authentic. We are living in interesting times. A very rainbow in a very unique moment, indeed.

Posted by daughter of patriots at July 8, 2007 12:40 PM

It was late summer 1981 and I was working as an electronics tech for a company supporting lightning research for the USAF as they moved from metal-skin aircraft to fiber-skin aircraft.

We took a 10 meter aluminum 'lightning strike object' (LSO) to South Baldy Peak (~10,700-ft) in Cibola National Forest near Socorro, NM and working with students and staff from the New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology and a french team of scientists we launched about 30 rockets into storm clouds trailing wires (ala Franklin) to induce lightning to strike our LSO.

On one clear day we all observed something I have never seen since - a circular/halo rainbow. It lasted over 20 minutes and was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life and travels.

Thanks for the article and photos. Cheers!

RileyD, nwJ

Posted by Riley D. Driver at July 8, 2007 2:21 PM

I live in Cumbria, The Lake District, UK. Incredibly I have seen 2 very bright horizontal rainbows directly above me. They were not huge but sort of "this is for you rainbow" very weird to see especially when there is no rain and not much in the way of cloud.
Its a miracle alright and I'm on the lookout for the third one on its side! Its a fantastic encouragement booster when things are rough...

Posted by Chris L at July 10, 2007 2:29 PM

On saturday 28th July 2007 my family and I
saw a horizontal rainbow to the east of Crieff
Scotland. The sky was heavily covered in cloud and the rainbow was very deep. An amazing sight.
There were no cirrus clouds and very little blue patches of sky visible

Posted by Duncan Brown at July 30, 2007 1:16 PM

My sister and I were driving along a Maine highway today and saw this most amazing site. A horizontal rainbow.. who had ever heard of such a thing!! Amazing. God truely still amazes us with the beauty of this earth!

Posted by Heather Horn at May 12, 2008 6:18 PM

I have seen a horizontal rainbow before and i was able to take a couple of pictures of it. It's not very whispy but more solid than the pictures above. If you're interested in them just let me know.

Posted by Vanessa Jones at June 17, 2008 9:53 PM

I just took pictures of a horizontal rainbow June 21/08, looking out south of my backyard.
There were no clouds in the sky at all, only off in the distance was the trail of an airplane, this lasted for about an hour, sent a picture to KATU news, they posted it.
I still do no understand how this could have happend so flat, with no clouds around at all?

Posted by Bobbi at June 30, 2008 11:13 AM

We, too, have been privileged to witness a fire rainbow. We were visiting family in East Moriches, Long Island and stepped out for lunch on July 25, 2008. We looked up and there it was! We have two photos. It was still present after we came out of the restaurant an hour later. This rainbow was off-shore, very nearly over the site where TWA Flight 800 crashed and was within a week of the anniversary of the crash.

Posted by bob prebish at October 14, 2008 5:53 PM

Wow, I live in upstate NY, this afternoor while talking to my son who lives in Atlanta, I had to stop the conversation abruptly....in the Southern ski, appeared a horizontal rainbow....had to quick get my camera to take a picture...now I have sent this link to him. Really impressed, and hope it is a sign of unsurpassed luck...maybe the lottery!....

Posted by Nancy J Rodabaugh at June 10, 2009 9:56 AM

One nice Horizontal Rainbow was captured by a friend of mine in Penang, Malaysia. Pic was posted at his flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/sirmart/3915955312/in/photostream/

Posted by CikLi at September 15, 2009 12:13 AM

I took a photo of a horizontal rainbow in Mareeba Queensland Australia on my sons birthday. I was told it was a rare sight to see. What makes this one special to me was we were in mourning for his mother who passed away the day before. There was not a cloud in the sky except over the back porch of the house we lived in. It was also taken in the same year of 2007.

Posted by Andrew C at September 24, 2012 3:25 AM