A natural phenomena can be explained as an observable event that is not man-made. They range from colorful rainbows to crazy weather events and many more. Oklahoma’s greatest natural phenomena are the massive supercells we see every year during tornado season, but we have several others that are more enjoyable to observe. Here are 6 natural phenomena captured in the Sooner state:
1. Glory (Optical Phenomenon)
A glory is not a rainbow as it first appears, but rather an optical phenomenon that occurs directly opposite of the sun in clouds of tiny water droplets. They are brighter in the center and fade toward the outer rings. The shadow of the observer is seen in the middle of the rings. They are commonly seen during flights and the shadow of the airplane will be seen in the center of the glory. This one was seen in LeFlore County.
2. Mammatus Clouds
These strange clouds rolled into Tulsa on this day just before a massive thunderstorm. These types of clouds are called mammatus or mammatocumulus, a cellular pattern of pouches hanging from the base of a cloud.
3. Double Rainbow
All rainbows need the sun and rain to form, and to be visible to you the sun must be behind you, while the rain is in front of you. All rainbows are caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets, which creates a spectrum of light in the sky. A double rainbow is seen when light is reflected twice in a more sophisticated pattern. The colors of the 2nd rainbow will be reversed and dimmer than the 1st. This double rainbow was seen in Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.
4. Lenticular and Laminar Clouds
These types of clouds are not seen very often in this type of environment in Lawton, OK. You find them on the leeward side of mountain ranges where highly turbulent flow mixes with high-level moisture.
5. Spook Light
Many legends exist about Spook Light and what causes the mysterious glowing orbs. They are also called the Devils Promenade , Tri-State Spook Lights or the Hornet Spook Lights. In Oklahoma, they can be visible along Oklahoma E. 50 Road. Some say it's ghosts, others say it's the lights from the cars on the highway. Go after dark and see if you can spot the visual phenomena...a ball of light that flashes with inconsistent colors.
This supercell swept through Courtney, OK in 2014. A supercell is a thunderstorm that is defined by the presence of mesocyclone-a deep, constantly rotating updraft.
Have you seen any of these natural phenomenas in Oklahoma? Tell us about your experience below.