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Rare cloud formation called a 'sun dog' spotted over Jacksonville

A unique and rather rare event was seen in the skies over Jacksonville this past weekend.
Credit: wtlv

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — This past weekend many across the First Coast got to see a unique sight, and that was a sun dog.

I know it sounds like something we would name the latest Super Hero to hit the theater, but actually looks like the photo below. The photo was shared with us here at First Coast News, and even the Jacksonville NWS spotted it as well. 

A sun dog is a rainbow-like iridescent cloud. This happens when ice crystals embedded in cirrus clouds high up in the atmosphere scatter the sunlight creating this unique imagery.

Despite cirrus clouds being rather common, sundogs are relatively rare. There are a few reasons for this: Often you need the sun at a low angle and just right compared to the clouds. Plus, the upper-level clouds need to be relatively thin or just forming, keeping them transparent enough to allow the scattering of light through them instead of blocking the sun rays completely out. 

The National Weather Service has more on this unique cloud here if you want to learn more. 

Remember if you ever see something interesting like this, take a photo and please send it to us via the First Coast News Weather Watchers Facebook page or via the Near Me Function on the First Coast News App.

Share photos via the First Coast News Facebook Page.

Credit: WTLV

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