On Wednesday the 9th of February, the night of the big snow storm that literally blew into the High Plains...I was driving into work around 4:30a.m. I looked up into the sky...the snow had finished falling, and the winds had become much lighter.
Closer inspection of the sky yielded a startling view! I saw what I could only describe as the Northern Lights. I called morning Meteorologist Brian James, to get his opinion because I thought surely we TMre a little too far south here in the Texas Panhandle to see those. I explained to him the strange phenomenon I was viewing, and he simply stated, That sounds like ice-pillars to me.
When I got into work, I did a search on this atmospheric effect, and this is what I discovered.
Ice-pillars are among the more breathtaking atmospheric optical effects. On cold nights when there is an abundance of ice crystals hanging in the atmosphere, lights from the earth TMs surface illuminate the crystals, that may extend hundreds or even thousands of feet above the light source. The light bounces off the crystals, creating what appears to be a beam of light.
Now suppose that light was moving, like the lights on top of a police car, or a snow plow. The ice-pillars then appear to have an ethereal quality, ghosting about with no clear destination, or particular color. I can only describe the effect as, spectacular.
Did you see the ice-pillars in the sky? Let us know by voting in our web poll, or in the comment section tell us what you thought when you saw the strange lights.