Sundogs On A Cold Day

This pair of sundogs appeared today in our Iowa view. I about froze walking half a block to get a picture. It is 0˚F and kind of windy. Low tonight is to be -15˚F. Warmer next week.



22 thoughts on “Sundogs On A Cold Day

  1. Steve Gingold

    Possible -40° wind chills tonight into tomorrow morning. Most schools closing or delayed opening. Where’s global warming when you need it? 🙂
    I have yet to see a sundog.

      1. Steve Gingold

        Not so here, Jim. 7° now, -8° by daybreak tomorrow. High of 18° with winds, Next day with temperatures above freezing is predicted for next Wednesday.
        I’ve seen a few sun pillars aka pillar of fire. Never a green flash. It is cold enough for a sun dog if we get some moisture in the air…pretty dry now.

  2. shoreacres

    Believe it or not, sun dogs are fairly common down here in the winter time. They can appear as early as November, and I’ve seen them as late as February. I suppose the answer is that even when the surface temperature is relatively warm (say, 45-55F) the cold air in the higher levels of the atmosphere can produce some neat phenomena.

    It’s cold enough here tonight to make us shiver (47F now, high tomorrow 39F), but I’m going to bundle up and go out and see if I can spot Comet Lovejoy. Our skies started clearing late this afternoon, and I’m hoping they’re completely clear now. I was able to see Luling with no trouble, although my eyes were better back then, too. If nothing else, it will be an opportunity to give thanks I don’t live in the land of zero-and-below any longer. On the other hand, if we could get some snow, I’d put up with it.

    I’ve seen the green flash!

    1. Jim in IA Post author

      I have tried several times to see the green flash. It still eludes me.

      The ice crystals in the sky can form some beautiful patterns. A check on the google images machine reveals a lot of examples. These I saw were a surprise as I wasn’t looking for anything in particular and noticed them.

      When the weather and sky is better, I will try to see Lovejoy. I requested an image from a robotic telescope the U of IA operates in AZ. I got the image back. It needs some adjustments before sharing. It was a nice fuzzy spot compared to the stars.

      I will see if my sources at the weather office can arrange some snow for you. It might cost you, tho. 🙂

        1. shoreacres

          Location’s right, but as I said: hopeful. A few degrees south of their predictions, and it’s bumper car time. Besides, I did just come in from cracking the ice on the birdbath. 🙂

    1. Jim in IA Post author

      If you google sundog and look at images, there are many beautiful examples. Ice crystals in the air cause them.

      Thanks for visiting and your comment. Come again.

        1. Jim in IA Post author

          It was -19˚C last night. Getting warmer as the sun shines.

          We visited Meath and West Meath where my mother’s paternal ancestors came from…Kelly and Huston. Also spent 6 wonderful days in Galway. We will go back some day to Ireland.

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