weather-uk  press pack


Ready-prepared articles on meteorological optics (rainbows, haloes, sky colour, etc)


  • 980307  Weather and painting   “Nobody looks up any more.” I remember my old geography professor bemoaning our obsession with shop windows thus, almost 30 years
  • 980815 An overview of “lights in the sky”  The best known is undoubtedly the rainbow but there is a huge range of other optical phenomena including haloes, coronae, glories,
  • 981024  How the rainbow works  “What skilful limner e’er would choose / To paint a rainbow’s varying hues / Unless to mortal it were given / To dip his brush  in dyes of
  • 981212  Rainbows and haloes  Rainbow-like phenomena are quite often observed in quiet, sunny weather with predominantly blue skies, and not a drop of rain within 500
  • 990130  The aurora borealis   ‘Breathtaking’ is  word often used to describe the aurora. Known as the northern lights of Aurora Borealis in the northern hemisphere, and the
  • 000415  The aurora of April 2000  On the evening of April 6, 2000, the police and fire services, radio and TV stations, RAF airfields and weather centres, all were inundated
  • 990515  More on haloes   A recent correspondent was puzzled by what she described as an “upside-down rainbow”, high in the sky, during a recent spell of settled weather.
  • 990717   Why is the sky blue?   The simplest questions are the hardest. All meteorologists dread the day the little one asks, “Why does the wind blow?” or “Why are
  • 000923   Measuring the blueness of the sky  Cyanometry is a word that does not appear in my desk dictionary. If you recognise the two elements of the word you might be
  • 991127   Purple skies  Brilliant sunrises and sunsets depend upon pollution in the atmosphere. Not only does this include man-made material such as industrial effluent
  • 030412  Red sky at night  A correspondent recently asked me to explain the old country saying: "red sky at night, shepherd's delight”.  There would be no colour at all in the
  • 000521  A red rainbow   I saw a rainbow on Friday evening. Nothing unusual about that, you might think. But this was a very special rainbow because it was pure red. I knew
  • 000924  Once in a blue moon  It has been a summer of widespread and long-lasting forest fires in the USA and Canada. Consequently I have been keeping my eyes peeled
  • 010218  The exceptional halo display of Feb ’01  A large part of northern and central England was treated to an amazing light show in the second week of February 2001, and