WINTER WEATHER: Light pillars visible in Oklahoma

If you are up overnight or very early in the morning, you might see an interesting sight in the sky!

These are known as light pillars.

What happens is the ice crystals in the atmosphere line up perfectly to reflect light from the ground. These crystals are typically flat plates and generally have to be horizontal as they float/fall through the air. Each crystal is able to act like a mirror, which reflects light sources upwards. The larger the crystals, the more pronounced the effect will be.

This type of optical illusion falls into the same family as sun dogs and lunar halos (which we’ve seen in Tulsa).

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