Rare clouds create rippling rainbow skies over North East

As Storm Henry batters the region, a more attractive presence has also appeared in the skies.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 2nd February 2016, 8:38 am
Updated Thursday, 4th February 2016, 8:14 am
Rare iridescent clouds visible over the skyline of Durham this morning. Picture by Keith Franklin.
Rare iridescent clouds visible over the skyline of Durham this morning. Picture by Keith Franklin.

Polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs), also known as Nacreous clouds, created a mother-of-pearl affect in the skies over the North East.

According to the Met Office, Nacreous clouds form in the lower stratosphere over polar regions when the sun is just below the horizon.

Rare iridescent clouds visible over the skyline of Durham this morning. Picture by Keith Franklin.

The clouds are illuminated from below and often glow in vivid colours and will often remain visible for a couple of hours after sunset and through the night as they are lit by moonlight.

Nacreous clouds form below -78 °C temperatures and so are most likely to occur during the polar winter.

But there is a dark side to them as well - according to the Australian Antarctic division, nacreous clouds are a major contributing factor in the formation of ozone holes in the Arctic and Antarctic.

If you took any pictures, please feel free to send them in.

Rare iridescent clouds visible over the skyline of Durham this morning. Picture by Keith Franklin.
Rare iridescent clouds visible over the skyline of Durham this morning. Picture by Keith Franklin.
Rare iridescent clouds visible over the skyline of Durham this morning. Picture by Keith Franklin.
James Ronnie Ryan captured these over Roker in Sunderland.
Picture by Marie Westmoreland.
RGM photos, South Shields
South Shields, Mathew Brown.
Rare iridescent clouds visible over the skyline of Durham this morning. Picture by Keith Franklin.
Rare iridescent clouds visible over the skyline of Durham this morning. Picture by Keith Franklin.
Rare iridescent clouds visible over the skyline of Durham this morning. Picture by Keith Franklin.
Rare iridescent clouds visible over the skyline of Durham this morning. Picture by Keith Franklin.
James Ronnie Ryan captured these over Roker in Sunderland.
Picture by Marie Westmoreland.
RGM photos, South Shields
South Shields, Mathew Brown.