Catch of the Day - Snowbows
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JimK - DCSki Columnist
August 24, 2005
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,987 posts
A snowbow is what you call a rainbow in the winter. Here are a few examples.
Pretty snowbow as seen from the slopes of Copper Mtn ski area in Colorado:
Very distinct rainbow/snowbow above a ski hill somewhere in NC:
Unusual snowbows closer to ground level, formed by ice crystals at Silver Star ski area in British Columbia, Canada:
Another image of a truly spectacular snowbow/halo effect created by airborne ice crystals and sunshine. The local term for this phenomenon is A Door to Heaven. Check out the album this photo came from, taken at Alta Badia, a group of ski resorts in the Italian Dolomite Mountains.
If you look closely rainbows can be seen in two of the photos used in this article for DCSki about a visit I made to Bryce Resort, Virginia. The temperature on this day was about 60 degrees and it sprinkled rain a couple times so I'd call these good old fashioned rainbows, not snowbows.

What's the most unusual weather phenomenon you've experienced on a ski hill?
August 24, 2005
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
Mine was large grupel during a winter t-storm at HV. Grupel is frozen a precip that has the make up what seem like styrofoam.IT snow that goes thought same process of hail in the summer from what i understand. It came down in like .5 inch pellets, piled up to about 4-6 inchs in like 45mins then was gone. Really weird skiing felt more edgeable than powder but still soft.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
August 24, 2005
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,987 posts
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