Rare 'paddle pop' rainbow in Singapore sky dazzles residents

Fire rainbows are known as circumhorizontal arcs in technical terms, and are caused by light passing through cirrus clouds at high altitudes.
Fire rainbows are known as circumhorizontal arcs in technical terms, and are caused by light passing through cirrus clouds at high altitudes.PHOTO: AARON TOH
Fire rainbows are known as circumhorizontal arcs in technical terms, and are caused by light passing through cirrus clouds at high altitudes.
Fire rainbows are known as circumhorizontal arcs in technical terms, and are caused by light passing through cirrus clouds at high altitudes.PHOTO: SCOTT CHENG
Fire rainbows are known as circumhorizontal arcs in technical terms, and are caused by light passing through cirrus clouds at high altitudes.
Fire rainbows are known as circumhorizontal arcs in technical terms, and are caused by light passing through cirrus clouds at high altitudes.PHOTO: HENG HOCK KWEE

SINGAPORE - An unusual rainbow, said to be a rare fire rainbow, caught the eye of residents in several parts of Singapore on Monday (Feb 20) afternoon.

In photos sent to The Straits Times, the paddle pop-coloured rainbow is seen peeking behind a cloud, against a blue sky.

National serviceman Aaron Toh, 23, told ST that he had been by the pool at Bishan 8 Condominium at about 5pm when he saw "a very bright orange glow" in the sky.

"But it wasn't the sun. I didn't know what it was," he said.

The glow later turned into a rainbow which he took photos of. It lasted for about 15 minutes, said Mr Toh.

Photography enthusiast Scott Cheng, a 16-year-old student, was taking pictures of the sky from his home at Bishan Street 25 when he saw the rainbow.

"It looked very weird," he told ST.

Netizens picked up on the ethereal sight, with some of them saying it could be a rare fire rainbow.

Fire rainbows are known as circumhorizontal arcs in technical terms, and are caused by light passing through cirrus clouds at high altitudes.

It could also be an iridescent cloud, which is a rainbow-like effect in clouds when light passes through tiny ice crystals or water droplets and is diffracted.