Albuquerque Rainbows

Albuquerque is on the high Chihuahua desert, about a mile above sea level, so rain is scarce. In the hot summer, some rainfall does not make it to the ground, because the drops of water evaporate on the way down. This phenomenon is called vigra. Link 

However, during the summer, warm spots in the eastern Pacific off the coast of Mexico, called El Nino and La Nina, generate water laden air masses that bring afternoon scattered showers to the southwest. New Mexicans refer to these predictable showers as the monsoon season.

Rainbows are created by the interaction of sunlight striking rain drops when the sun is at about 42 degrees above the horizon, or during the latter part of the afternoon and early evening. Link  Fortunate for New Mexicans, the presence of monsoon showers at that time of day produces beautiful rainbows.

Sometimes, they enjoy double rainbows.

But even a single rainbow colors the sky and reminds us of how essential rain, however scarce, is to life.

 

 

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