Oregon Moon Halo Tonight: A Prediction of Weather for Coast, Portland
(Portland, Oregon) – A multicolored ring around the moon has been showing up in the Portland area and possibly on the Oregon coast tonight, which is a pretty and engaging sight all its own. Called a moon halo, it often tells you about an incoming weather system that is on the chilly side – and it is holding true to its propensity for weather prophecy.
A moon halo can be a whitish ring around the moon, sometimes in a huge circle taking up much of the sky, and other times in can be a kind of roundish rainbow.
But tonight's moon halo was more of a multicolored occurrence, often changing shape and fading in and out as clouds varied in thickness.
This, according to scientists, means rain or snow are coming soon, and moon halos are often the forerunners of storm clouds right behind. Indeed that is the case now as a series of wet and cold weather systems are coming in, bringing some snow to the Cascades.
Moon halos are made of tiny ice crystals that have clung together some 20,000 feet above the ground, usually in the form of thin, wispy clouds. They are thin enough that they often can't be seen at night.
The crystals bend the light from the moon at an angle of 22 degrees.
The halos can have a rainbow quality. Red will be on the inside and blue on the outside, although not always.
Indeed, rain and cold are coming.
There were a series of weather alerts posted by the NWS earlier this week, but that has since changed. The outlook doesn't appear to hold any snow for the roadways of the Oregon coast range or the higher elevations of Portland anymore.
Rain is expected later tonight and through Thursday, with some sizable winds up to 22 mph – in the Portland area. Lows on Thursday will get down 37 degrees.
For the Oregon coast range, snow levels will get down to 2,000 feet, which will not affect the highways at all as the highest point for the road is 1800 feet. But the mountain peaks will get as much as two inches of snow and later plenty of rain.
The one report from Depoe Bay received by Oregon Coast Beach Connection about 8 p.m. indicated no moon halo there, and in fact the skies were clear and full of stars.
More previous photos of the moon and different halos from Portland and the Oregon coast below.
Moon halo at Depoe Bay.
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