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Faint 'hailbow' developed over northern Roanoke County Thursday afternoon

Forms when sunlight bounces off hailstones

Photo Credit: Mark Overbeck
Photo Credit: Mark Overbeck

ROANOKE, Va. – Storms this time of year can contain heavy rain, lightning and even some small hail. That was the case Thursday afternoon in places like Covington and near Montvale. 

Mark Overbeck saw one of those tiny, but explosive storms in Bonsack. He was looking toward Bedford County snapping pictures. 

Within this storm, you could see a faint 'hailbow.' Yes, you read that right. 

When you see a rainbow, the sun's light is being reflected off the raindrop to produce the ROYGBIV color scheme. 

In this storm, the sun's light was bouncing or refracting off tiny hailstones falling from the cloud. That had a similar effect, as you can see in the picture above.


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