Skip to Content


Search Icon
Anthony Sharwood, 27 Aug 2021, 5:44 AM UTC

Why is this remarkable rainbow predominantly pink?

Why is this remarkable rainbow predominantly pink?

Everybody loves a rainbow, but this one on the Central Coast of NSW was a little different to most.

Image: Indigo and violet were NOT happy at being left out. Source: @zeemerven via Instagram.

The rainbow occurred last weekend, but we thought we'd share it with you this Friday afternoon in place of our weekly snow conditions update, because nobody except locals can visit the snow due to Covid lockdowns in NSW and Victoria.

(If you're interested, it snowed a lot this week and conditions are great - our snow page with forecasts and live cams is here.)

So why the pink bow? Where did the other colours go?

"It's just the low angle of the sun at sunrise/set that caused predominantly red wavelengths of colour to cause the rainbow," Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino explains.

"The other colours are filtered out because the light is travelling a longer distance through the atmosphere before hitting the raindrops and causing the rainbow."

Image: There are uglier places in Australia to take a morning walk than Putty Beach on the Central Coast. Source: @jaagdrone via Instagram.

So there's your explanation. The rainbow occurred just around dawn, when the sun's rays obviously had more atmosphere to travel through, due to the low angle on the horizon. And as Ben mentioned, that filtered out some of the other colours.

We hope the sun's rays shine on you this weekend wherever you are. Unless of course you're a farmer needing rain, in which case we hope you get a lovely soaking drop.

Note to media: You are welcome to republish text from the above news article as direct quotes from Weatherzone. When doing so, please reference in the credit.