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Colored Clouds

Are you interested in weird clouds and unique weather? Although you might think we wouldn’t have that many clouds here in the desert, during the late summer we have spectacular, sometimes violent, thunderstorms called “monsoons.” These storms can produce some highly unusual formations.

Last summer some friends and I were swimming in an outdoor pool. We were watching the sky carefully because a monsoon storm was approaching and we didn’t want to get caught in it. The sun was starting to go down when we noticed the most amazing colors in the clouds. We didn't see the usual rainbow colors, however, not the vibrant red-orange-yellow-green -blue-indigo-violet in an arch. Instead, these were the colors you would see in a pool of oily water. We saw greenish-blues, teals and magenta hues. The colors were all over the clouds, too, not like the small pieces of rainbows we call sundogs.

I wrote to a local expert asking about it, but I never heard anything back. I figured it was something like an airplane dumping fuel (it was right near the airport) had caused it, and that I’d never see it again.

This weekend, however, I found a webpage at The Firefly Forest with photos and an explanation. The author, T. Beth Kinsey calls them iridescent clouds. Aren’t they amazing? Take a look and let me know what you think.

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