Iowa Sundogs and Living Where the Air Hurts Your Face
Let me be the first to say I like cold weather. Now it's not that I dislike summer or the warmer months, I have just always been of the opinion that it is much easier to get warmer than cooler. Call it that whale like blubber insulation I "may" pack on each Christmas, but I authentically like the cooler months. That being said, a -45 degree windchill is right at the bottom of my list when it comes to acceptable temperatures, even for Iowa.
Question, why is it that the extremely cold days, like it is now, always looks so inviting outside?
The beautiful white powdery snow, clear blue skies, and the sun shining bright and majestic. Sure, it looks great from the window of your house, but the minute you step outside, you realize some penguins have enjoyed higher temperatures than we have for the last few days.
Speaking of that Iowa beauty, the sundogs yesterday were absolutely brilliant. Maybe a term you're not familiar with? Me? I've heard it my whole life, but that's what farming on cold winter mornings will get you. Good work ethic, and some pretty amazing Iowa sights.
According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Halos, sundogs, and sun pillars are captivating optical effects that result from the interaction of sunlight with ice crystals and water droplets. Halos form as rings or arcs around the sun or moon when sunlight refracts through ice crystals in cirrus clouds. Sundogs are colored spots of light, appearing approximately 22 degrees from the sun, created by the refraction of sunlight through ice crystals. Sun pillars manifest as vertical shafts of light above the sun during sunrise or sunset, formed by ice crystals reflecting the sun's rays. These phenomena produce beautifully natural, and stunning, visual displays also known as mock suns, or parhelia.
So, when it gets as cold as it is now, I often wonder, "Self, why do you continue to live where the air literally hurts your face (and fingers, and toes, and...)." And then I think, well it could be worse, at least I don't live in Australia.
LOOK: Biggest snowfalls recorded in Iowa history
Gallery Credit: Stacker