Why is everyone talking about the Solar Halo?

It was Election Day in many significant areas in the city of Kolkata. Some had already voted. They had even fulfilled the other (perhaps even more important than voting duty) important duty of posting their “Got Inked” selfies on Facebook. And then suddenly, a halo appeared over their heads.

The sun was encircled by a rainbow ring of light. Out came the phones and the cameras. Photos were clicked and posted with exclamations and catchy captions. Some even went further to google the phenomenon. And this is what they found:

 

 

 

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A Solar halo (that’s what the scientists call it, apparently), is a sign of imminent rain!

 

So the formation of that halo does indeed warrant celebration. No one remembers when the last rainfall was. Temperatures have been above normal in several areas of the state and the country. In fact, Bankura in West Bengal has recorded the highest temperature in the country- 45.1 degee centigrade.

 

 

Cirrus clouds (containing ice crystals), which float around 20,000 feet above our heads, lead to the formation of the halo around the sun. Due to the processes of reflection and refraction between the sunlight and the ice crystals, the halo forms. The cirrus clouds are said to form when rainfall is soon to come.

 

 

According to weather reports, West Bengal could receive rainfall in the next one or two days.

But we must also remember that extremities of all kinds of weather are signs of danger- floods in Assam have affected almost 100,000 people this month.

 

 

 

 

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