What a weekend!  Mother Nature served up fabulous summer conditions to all three Maritime Provinces.  There were countless festivals and outdoor events across our region, but none larger that the Rendez Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta held in the Halifax Harbour.

The crowds were huge; people walking up and down both sides of our glorious harbour admiring the majestic Tall Ships.  To fully appreciate them, you had to look up to the magnificent masts that stretched high above the glistening water. 

I think that’s why I received so many photos and questions about a ring around the sun in Halifax Saturday afternoon.

I’ve blogged about this before, but judging by the number of inquiries, it’s still a mystery to some so I happy to explain it again.

That ring is a 22 degree solar halo.  It's called a 22-degree halo because the ring has a radius of approximately 22° around the sun or moon. 

The ring is a result of the sun’s light reflecting off hexagonally shaped ice crystals.  When the ice crystals are almost all the same size and lying horizontally, a perfect ring appears.  Once in a while you’ll see colours in the ring; these colours are a bonus and quite rare in fact.  The larger ice crystals tend to produce brighter colours.

Grandma used to say: “ring around the sun or moon, rain or snow upon you soon”.

But it didn’t rain in Halifax.  Here’s why:

The cloud that produces hexagonally shaped ice crystals is the cirrostratus cloud; an upper level cloud. It’s known as a forerunner to wet weather.  Most time, you’ll get rain 12 to 24 hours after spotting the halo.

Early Saturday, the rainmaker was moving up along the eastern seaboard, heading our way.  Thankfully, as predicted, the cold front coming across the region pushed offshore and kept the low and the rain off the mainland…for the most part!  The angle of the front was such that the rain did come ashore along the eastern shore regions and southern Cape Breton Island Saturday night into Sunday morning.

So there you have it, as is so often the case, there are exceptions, even to our ancestors’ wise observations.


Chief Meteorologist

Cindy Day