WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

What is up with the sunset tonight? There is a big blue streak boxed by two golden streaks positioned West to east across the the entire width of the sky?

Posted September 26, 2007

MIKE MOSS SAYS:    Alex,    I have to admit you may have me stumped on this one. I asked around a bit about Monday evening (I was inside around sunset) and looked up some observations for our area and points west, and didn't find much that would indicate reasons for other than a nearly "clear sky" sunset.

The only things that come to mind are that there were a few scattered clouds (bases 5-10,000 feet) reported at some stations west of us, and it might be that a cloud below the horizon blocked a shaft or two of sunlight, so that within that shaft the sky looked darker blue while the rays of light (called crepuscular rays) crossing the sky outside that area were scattered (gold or reddened) in your direction. Or, perhaps there were a couple of dissipating contrails high in the sky that reflected gold colors within a darker surrounding blue.

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