Theme for 2005: Rainbow Chasing

Sure, rainbow chasing doesn't have the due it deserves, but I really think I'm on to something here. Case study: May 31, 2005 tornadic storms in SE CO/NE NM. I'll have those photos online shortly, but I happened to notice I took approximately 30 photos of rainbows. Thirty. I couldn't capture the tornado I witnessed with a gang of chasers because it formed a) for only a few seconds, B) after dark, and c) was veritably rain-wrapped. But...I managed to bag the lion's share of rainbows that day.

It seems my penchant for rainbows has also prompted a bit of a connoisseur in me: I call some of the photos bi-bows, tri-bows, and--as mentioned above, the May 31, 2005--quadri-bow event. *sigh*
I also caught a stunning rainbow which "appeared" to touchdown in a field of yellow/gold flowers over the NM plain. These are stunning photos, but I can't help but feel just a wee bit pansy-ish when I'm sharing my photos from the season with my colleagues and family. "And here's another rainbow from the west side of that same storm. And here's one on the flank of this other non-tornadic storm..." "Jason, do you chase storms anymore?" "I think I did...once...a while ago...But that was before the Ridge."

I think my new expertise will allow me to refine my forecast talents. For example:

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okalahoma, has issued a Rainbow Watch for portions of...SE CO, and NE NM...until 8pm. Synopsis: a bunch of storms will form on a dryline in the late afternoon. We expect RFDs will result in picturesque rainbows along and west of the dryline.

Mesorainbow Discussion...All models look in good agreement...intense sunshine on the backs of several storms will potentially lead to an outbreak of rainbows, some of them severe, with potential prism glare and will occasionally form in twos or threes. We expect a Rain-Bow-Echo could develop in the evening. A new box will be ordered shortly.

Glad to see June has been good to my friends. I guess I only have 49 weeks to go until next season! But maybe I'll be able to catch some more 'bows here in Jacksonville until then...LOL.


Tornadic storm (with rainbow), SE CO, 5/30/05


Rainbow and pot of gold (wildfowers), SE CO, 5/30/05


This actually was a "quad bow" but only two of the bows could show up on film :).
I think you may be on to something, Jason.
Wouldn't a rainbow echo just be a double rainbow, though?

Last year I saw the most vivid, glowing, on fire double rainbow of my entire life ... it was so amazing that there was a row of cars parked along I-29, where people stopped driving and parked their car just to get out and stare at this thing.

And I didn't have my camera.

I always have my camera, but not that day of course. Unbelievable. This year I haven't been in a good position to get any ... usually have to move west just out from under the base a bit where you get the sun aiming nicely into the precip core. Last night there was apparently a really nice one on the Jefferson/Leavenworth storm, but like the tornado, we missed it too. :)

Maybe I'd have a little better success as a rainbow chaser ... eh, probably not.
While chasing a tornadic storm in Virginia September 8, 2004, this rainbow was visually very close to the car.


Yes, rainbows are very beautiful. They are a common site but nice ones are less frequent and are ephemeral.

Bill Hark
(I hate 2005!!!)
If you happen to be on top of a mountain the rainbow can actually begin to arc back towards itself below the horizon. At times this rainbow filled well over 180 degrees of the circle.