Chasing Rainbows

Lately our area in Alberta has been experiencing almost nightly thunder storms.  We noticed this rainbow from the house and took the kids out for a look. When we had a better view outside we saw that it was actually a double rainbow. But, on further inspection we noticed that there was something even more special about this rainbow.

(click any image for a larger view)

We observed that the main bow seemed to have multiple levels of refraction where you could see the rainbow colours repeating over and over.

A supernumerary rainbow – also known as a stacker rainbow – is an infrequent phenomenon, consisting of several faint rainbows on the inner side of the primary rainbow, and very rarely also outside the secondary rainbow. Supernumerary rainbows are slightly detached and have pastel colour bands that do not fit the usual pattern. More info:

I decided to get in the car and see if I could get a better view of the whole rainbow as there are quite a few trees around the house, but once I got out in the fields, the storm was moving off the rainbow was fading. So the chase began!

Racing southeast following the storm I was able to catch up and get some more pictures of the rainbow before it completely faded.

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