Low Rainbow Offshore Pointe-du-Bout, Martinique

Low Rainbow Offshore Pointe-du-Bout, Martinique

Rainbows are, of course, a dime a dozen in the Caribbean. The region’s frequent generally brief, showers are always chased by brilliant sunshine, yielding bodacious bows arcing high across the sky. A low rainbow like the one pictured here, though, is more rare. Sort of…

I was positively flabbergasted at first sight of this image. Patrick snapped it during the early morning hours of our first trip together to Martinique. We were staying at Le Bakoua in Pointe-du-Bout, a hotel I had enjoyed calling home in Martinique on numerous previous visits. 

In all of those prior visits, though, I’d never witnessed a rainbow quite like this. One sagging so low to the sea that it appeared more in line with the horizon than the majestic arcs I was used to.

“Talk about uncommon,” I thought..?!

Years later, though, I discovered that the phenomenon that is a low rainbow isn’t rare at all. Atmospheric Optics runs down the science in detail here. In essence, though, a rainbow that occurs when the sun is between the horizon and 42 degrees above it will be a low rainbow.

In other words, you get these beauties when the sun is low in the sky… Like at sunrise… When Patrick, a notoriously early-riser, captured this image. 

Sunrise, of course, is a time when you rarely see me. So yeah, it’s no wonder I’d never seen one of these special miracles before.

How about you? Ever see any rainbows like this along your Caribbean travels..?

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