December 28, 2018 1:14 pm

Best part of Manitoba’s cold weather is probably the sun dogs

A sundog in southern Manitoba on Friday.


Along with Friday’s chilly temperatures came one of Manitoba’s favourite phenomena — sun dogs.

According to Global News weather specialist Mike Koncan, sun dogs form when it’s cold and dry. Ice crystals in the air form when there is low humidity. When the humidity gets higher, the crystals branch out more, resulting in snowflakes.

The bright, refracted flares from the crystals appear to the left and right of the sun, and are generally more easily seen when the sun is low in the sky, said Koncan.

READ MORE: The science of sun dogs seen over southern Manitoba

“Ice crystals form hexagonal prisms and refract the light creating this effect. The key is the prisms remaining still as they fall. Only crystals with their prism axis roughly perpendicular to the sunโ€™s rays will allow light to pass through two sides.”

Here are a few photos sent to Global News by Manitoba readers, and some posted on social media. There’s even a few from our neighbours in North and South Dakota. Stay warm!

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Sundog double rainbow! ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ #nofilterneeded

A post shared by Laura (@edmondslaurac) on


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