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Rainbow clouds appear over Virginia on Mother's Day

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Posted at 4:20 PM, May 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-09 21:23:08-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — Some pretty rainbow clouds were spotted in the skies over Central Virginia on Mother's Day.

One cloud was spotted around 2 p.m. Sunday near Tuckahoe Creek near the Henrico-Goochland line.

Did you see a rainbow cloud Sunday? Click here to email us your photos or videos or you can click here to share them on the WTVR CBS 6 Facebook page.

The rainbow clouds are actually called circumhorizontal arcs.

“Essentially it’s sunlight coming through these high-level clouds, these cirrostratus clouds which are made of ice crystals,” WTVR CBS 6 meteorologist Mike Stone explained. “The sunlight gets diffracted, and when it does that, it actually looks like a little rainbow in the sky.”

Stone said circumhorizontal arcs occur most often in the late spring and summer as the sun angle gets higher.

In fact, Toni Zimmermann also spotted some "awesome" rainbow clouds in the sky along Route 360 in Amelia County on May 14, 2015.