As if someone needed to travel to Hawaii, a newly published research paper explains why the archipelago is the best place to see the world’s rainfall.
Appearing in a bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, the study breaks down the science behind everyone’s favorite weather event and describes the reasons why Hawaiian rainbows are so more spectacular than places seen elsewhere. Apparently, a person who likes his work, study writer Steven Businger’s paper read like a love letter in the rainbow, laments the fact that the incident not being given much attention in the educational curriculum. Then, it is all sun and rainbow, and if you have any research paper to keep you in a good mood, this is it.
Before dealing specifically with Hawaii, Businger elaborated on the Rainbow effect, explaining that the famous philosopher Rena Descartes first discovered that each drop of water contributes “color flashes” by presenting a “cone of light” at exactly 42 angles to the degree of incoming sunlight.
“One of Descartes’ greatest insights is that each observer sees their own rainbow that has a rainbow created by a unique set of rain from a unique set of circles at a 42 degree angle away from the shadow of the observer’s head.” Like, “Any friend who shares a close experience will actually enjoy a different rainbow.” Discussing the distinctive qualities of Hawaiian rainbows, Businger explains that four distinct factors contribute to the greatness of the islands’ colorful skies.
First, the island’s location within the atmospheric conduction known as the Hadley Cell confirms that Hawaii has visited by northwesterly trade winds for most of the day. It intersects areas of clear sky to create conventional rainfall jolts, which allow sunlight to mix with precipitation and create a rainbow. The overnight warmth provided by the sea, meanwhile, causes the air to rise in the morning and allow rainbows to form “at breakfast”. Conversely, as the daytime temperature rises, evening rainbows formed, creating air currents.
“In this situation, it started to rain over Oahu and Kauai in the afternoon, so there was a lot of rain as the sun went down,” Businger said.
This mountain topology is another key reason for the Hawaiian Rainbow Show, as the peaks force the trade winds to rise, cool the air and create precipitation. Without these mountains, the islands would be something of a desert, with no rainfall and therefore no rainfall. Finally, Hawaii’s remote location confirms that its air is largely free of pollution, continental dust, and pollen, meaning there are very few aerosol particles that can scatter sunlight and fade the glory of a rainbow.
Businger claims that they can last up to 6.5 hours in the summer and 8.5 hours in the winter. It is not surprising that rainbows are so prominent in Hawaiian mythology and culture.
Businger explained, for example, that the Hawaiian language includes “earth-drawn rainbow (uakoko), standard rainbow shaft (kāhili), barely visible rainbow (punakea) and moonbows (ānuenue kau pō), among others.” Of course, while Hawaii can boast of the most obvious, abundant, and long-lasting rainbows on the planet, you may still be lucky and blow your mind by a deadly rainbow as shown in the video below.
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