Gloridescent clouds


As “Gloridescence” I define colored clouds in the antisolar area, where there is no visible connection to a glory.

The first observation of colored clouds at the antisolar point was made by Stefan Rubach on Mt. Großer Arber at Jan. 26, 2007. We suspected fragments of a glory, but we were not sure.


Jan. 26, 2007: Glorydescence on Mt. Großer Arber. Photo: Stefan Rubach

On Nov. 18, 2007, I made the first observation of my own and on Mar. 1, 2010 my second observation at Mt. Wendelstein (1835m).

At Mt. Zugspitze (2963m) I observed these colored clouds a few times and named them „gloridescent clouds“ (and so far no one ever challenged this name).

On Apr. 25, 2015 I made my first observation of „gloridescent clouds“ at Mt. Fichtelberg (1215m). Meanwhile we received more observations, one from the valley of Neckar river, one photo by Eva Beatrix Bora from Stavanger, Norway and some from an aircraft (12). From these we conclude that:

  • Just as glories become more frequent with increasing observing levels (see this article), the frequency of “Gloridescence” also increases.
  • At lower altitudes (i.e. in the area of low clouds), “Gloridescence” originates mainly from underneath of stratocumulus clouds.
  • At higher mountains (e.g. Zugspitze, 2963m) and on airplanes, “gloridescent clouds” are more frequent and appear mainly in deeper cloud layers or single shreds of clouds.


Author: Claudia Hinz, Schwarzenberg, Germany


Posted on February 27, 2017, in glory and spectre of Brocken, observations and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I once saw a rainbow during a Fata Morgana of the sun, the sun was setting into the sun’s inverted image. The RB was nature’s hologram up close @ 75′ away 30′ tall’ & 15′ wide. The 3-D qualities upon meeting this illusion were amazing. I saw 3 drops with an inverted pyramid inside, radiating color of a RB. I advanced to a reddish realm for 25′ where the drops changed to a mass of liquid gold, sparkling & surrounding me for 3 seconds. When it receded into the trees & disappeared. I turned to see the converged suns as a bright white speck. It only rained in a 100 yd.radius! The whole event lasted 2 minutes as the suns set into the Bohemian Grove of W. Sonoma Co. CA. If you study the model on Rays thru a large raindrop/Atmospheric Optics. By moving your mouse, you can change the angle the sunlight enters the drop all the way to 8 degrees creating a secondary reflection out the backside of the drop making RB on RB, a depth to the RB. How it froze in place might be able to be explained by multiple inversion layers. All I know it was a jaw dropping experience. call me @ 707 887 2190

  2. Oh, this is the article that I actually meant to post on rather than one similar to this. I spend many hours photographing clouds and have learned a way to capture these colors in the clouds around my home frequently. They are appearing almost daily right now. You can see some of my photos on my Shutterstock page, but I would love to share more and see if they are similar to the Gloridescent clouds – I LOVE that name. Thank you!!

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