It’s not every day that you get to watch a solar halo form over Devil’s Lake State Park. Solar halos form when sunlight is refracted in millions of hexagonal ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere.
With a haze in the air and a rainbow colored ice pillar rising on the horizon, I had a good feeling that all I had to do was get to a good location and wait. Still you never know. Sometimes as soon as the pillar forms, it fades. You can’t be sure you’ll get the full-on halo.
Because solar halos are created by ice crystals high in the atmosphere (usually formed in cirrus clouds), they can be a sign of coming rain or snow. But just like an ice pillar can’t guarantee a halo, a halo can’t guarantee precipitation. You just have to wait and see. (Snow is forecast for later today….)
After a few more minutes of waiting and watching along the lakeshore, the halo formed. (Below) This time, we got lucky!