Grand Canyon North Rim, Rainbow and Anticrepuscular Rays

The monsoon season, mid-July to mid-August is the best time to visit either the North or South Rim of the Grand canyon. There are frequent afternoon and evening showers with rainbows and lightning.

Feature Image Details

The images in this post were taken at Cape Royal. It’s about an hour from the lodge by car, then a short 15-minute level walk to an excellent overlook with 180 degree views.

This image was late afternoon looking east, away from the setting sun.

Rainbow Math

The apex of a rainbow is 180 degrees from the sun. At noon, with the sun straight overhead, a rainbow would be below the horizon. At sunset a rainbow makes a big arc.

From a plane, one can see a rainbow as a complete circle.

Anticrepuscular Rays

Crepuscular rays are parallel shafts of sunlight typically seen emanating from holes in the clouds while looking towards the sun. The beams do not appear to be parallel due to a perspective effect.

Anticrepuscular rays are parallel shafts of sunlight radiating from the anti-solar point, 180 degrees opposite the sun. Anticrepuscular rays are most frequently visible around sunrise or sunset. They are formed from shadows of a large object such as a mountain.

Additional Image

I only saw two clean rays for a minute or so then the shafts merged and eventually went away.


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2 thoughts on “Grand Canyon North Rim, Rainbow and Anticrepuscular Rays

    1. Likely – I could warm it up but then it would impact the rainbow
      Desaturating the blue could be an option. Also it looks bluer here than on my screen so conversion to JPEG could be a factor as well.

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