Low Bow Over La Palma

May 22, 2020

Arcoiris muy bajo sobre el mar

Photographer: José Fernández Arozena
Summary Authors: José Fernández Arozena; Jim Foster

Featured above is a low-slung rainbow that I observed on the afternoon of March 27, 2020, on La Palma, Canary Islands (Spain). It formed over the sea with the arrival of a weak front from the northeast. With the Sun still fairly high in the sky, but no more than 42 degrees above the horizon, bows ride low in the sky and are sometimes easy to miss. This one is so colorful because the raindrops that helped form it are likely quite large – probably at least 2 or 3 mm in diameter.

The ship seen in the foreground is a reproduction of a carrack from the 15th century, currently displayed at a naval museum on La Palma.

Photo Details: Taken with my mobile phone in night mode; cropped and darkened at the ends of the image.