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                   Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 9:09PM

Dramatic high double rainbow over Charleston

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I've witnessed better rainbows on the Great Plains, but this one on Sunday evening ranks in the top five of ones I've seen in Charleston. I went to church early tonight and went inside for a few minutes. When I walked back out into the lobby, everyone was outside gasping and pointing at the sky. With about 15 minutes to spare before the evening service started, I got in the car and drove the two miles to Fort Hill, expecting this notoriously transient phenomenon to either fade or disappear altogether by the time I got there. To my amazement, it remained steady-state when I got to the overlook, and stayed strongly luminous until after I was able to fire off about 30 frames on the digital camera.

Nothing less than a fisheye lens would have been able to capture the entire scene, so I shot two series of panoramic composites in an attempt to get everything in frame. I assembled one of them tonight (click to enlarge):

Other views:

The atmospheric configuration responsible for this display was late-evening direct sunlight at a very low angle, shining under a sharp clearing line behind showers moving over town. Here is the view to the west:

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