In China’s Haikou city on August 21 people were shocked to see a rainbow-like cloud. It was later understood to be a natural phenomenon.
The phenomenon later came to be known as the ‘Pileus’ or the ’scarf cloud’. A pileus is formed when the rapidly rising air in the updraft of a towering cumulus cloud pushes against the cooler air above it. It leads to condensation of the moisture right along the top of the updraft, leading to the formation of the Pileus.
The pileus gets the rainbow colour when the sunlight is at the right angle causing the light to diffract between the droplets and ice crystals in the cloud, reported The Weather Network.
This phenomenon is short-lived as the pileus is ‘engulfed’ by the cloud upon which it is formed. Pelis is absorbed when the cloud below it rises up with convection.