NewsMontana News


Weather Wise: Spectacular Montana sunrises and sunsets

Weather Wise: Spectacular Sunrises & Sunsets
Posted at 8:21 AM, Nov 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-01 10:21:59-04

HELENA - The sunrises and sunsets have been a real treat over the last several days in Montana. The sky was "lit" as the kids say.

Sunrises and sunsets have been spectacular for much of Montana for several days in a row.

For most of the last week and last weekend there was upper-level moisture that moved across our sky. '

This moisture interacted with the continental divide and the mountains, forming mountain wave clouds along with cirrus clouds.

These types of clouds can add to the vibrancy of a sunrise or sunset because they are located high enough in the atmosphere, typically between 20,000 and 30,000 feet, allowing sunlight to light up the underside.

Cirrus clouds are comprised of ice crystals that can act as a prism, scattering light. the scattering of different wavelengths of light also comes into play with the time of day.

In the morning and the evening, with the sun closer to the horizon, light has a longer path to take through the atmosphere, leaving reds and yellows to shine through.

During the day the sun is directly overhead and the sunlight has a shorter distance to travel. This allows violets and blues to be easily scattered.

Being stuck in a weather pattern is not that bad when it produces weather like this.