From the ABC 7 Weather team

Sunrise Special -- September Style!

September 25, 2013 - 09:48 AM
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The sun rises every morning, but some sunrises are more spectacular than others. Wednesday was one of those days.

Looking at the early morning satellite, I had a feeling we'd be in for a colorful sunrise.  A disturbance off to the south had ushered in some mid and high level clouds.  It was a perfect recipe for a brilliant sunrise. 

Steve Chenevey - Washington, D.C.

To see all the colors of the rainbow, watch the video time lapse below.  Notice how quickly the colors change, as the sun angle gets higher.

The reason we enjoy such colorful sunrises is because the sunlight scatters through the lowest layer of the atmosphere. 

During sunrise and sunset, sunlight has to take a longer path through the atmosphere due to the low sun angle.  During this process, molecules scatter the blue and violet light away from our eyes revealing many other colors of the rainbow. 

When mid and high clouds are added to the mix, the sunlight is scattered and reflected more, which aids in the deep red and orange hues visible during these times. 

Since the sun angle is much lower in the fall and winter, sunrises and sunsets are even more brilliant.  This morning was a perfect example of everything coming together.  Check out these incredible images taken by our StormWatch7 Facebook and Twitter friends.  Thanks to everyone for sharing!

Kelly Spore - Frederick, MD
Michelle Barnhill - Deale, MD
Donna Davis - Culpepr, VA


Brianne Carter - Washington, D.C.
Alex Liggitt - Fairfax, VA
Rachel Salerno - Washington, D.C.
Paul Bianco - Annapolis, MD
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