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The Sun's angle creates optical effects, tarantulas roam the streets

Low-lying Temperature Inversions create Marine Layer along the Coast

Sun Halo by San Diego Scenic Photography
Sun Halo by San Diego Scenic Photography

Atmospheric Ice-crystal Effects are often observed, starting about this time of year, because of the frequent appearance of high clouds made of tiny bits of ice. The most familiar of these optical effects is the 22°-radius halo, or ring, around the sun or the moon. Less often seen is a “corona,” a colored disk around the sun or moon — not the same as the solar corona seen during total eclipse; “sundogs,” colored arcs left and right of the sun; the sun pillar, a vertical column of light above the rising or setting sun; and a host of other rare and inconspicuous optical phenomena. All of these optical effects are a consequence of sunlight or moonlight refracting through or reflecting from the tiny facets of ice crystals in cirrus and other types of high clouds.

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California Ebony Tarantulas are one of the two tarantulas native to San Diego County.

Roaming Tarantula Spiders are occasionally seen this time of year crossing rural roads or drifting through San Diego County’s backcountry-bordering neighborhoods. Doggedly searching for a mate, a male will try to hold its course despite your best effort to deflect or hinder him. Docile in temperament, most tarantulas will tolerate gentle handling; they may bite, however, if provoked. Despite their fearsome reputation, tarantula venom is less powerful than a bee’s.

A typical marine layer sits off the coast of Pacific Beach.

Low-lying Temperature Inversions commonly occur in San Diego as winter approaches. During the night and morning hours, a meteorological condition often occurs in which the “normal” higher-you-go-the colder-it-gets trend is reversed. At such times, cold marine air lies below a stable layer of warmer air originating from inland locales. Whenever moist air is trapped below a low-lying inversion layer, dense fog forms on or near the ground, and San Diego International Airport is sometimes forced to suspend operations.

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Sun Halo by San Diego Scenic Photography
Sun Halo by San Diego Scenic Photography

Atmospheric Ice-crystal Effects are often observed, starting about this time of year, because of the frequent appearance of high clouds made of tiny bits of ice. The most familiar of these optical effects is the 22°-radius halo, or ring, around the sun or the moon. Less often seen is a “corona,” a colored disk around the sun or moon — not the same as the solar corona seen during total eclipse; “sundogs,” colored arcs left and right of the sun; the sun pillar, a vertical column of light above the rising or setting sun; and a host of other rare and inconspicuous optical phenomena. All of these optical effects are a consequence of sunlight or moonlight refracting through or reflecting from the tiny facets of ice crystals in cirrus and other types of high clouds.

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California Ebony Tarantulas are one of the two tarantulas native to San Diego County.

Roaming Tarantula Spiders are occasionally seen this time of year crossing rural roads or drifting through San Diego County’s backcountry-bordering neighborhoods. Doggedly searching for a mate, a male will try to hold its course despite your best effort to deflect or hinder him. Docile in temperament, most tarantulas will tolerate gentle handling; they may bite, however, if provoked. Despite their fearsome reputation, tarantula venom is less powerful than a bee’s.

A typical marine layer sits off the coast of Pacific Beach.

Low-lying Temperature Inversions commonly occur in San Diego as winter approaches. During the night and morning hours, a meteorological condition often occurs in which the “normal” higher-you-go-the colder-it-gets trend is reversed. At such times, cold marine air lies below a stable layer of warmer air originating from inland locales. Whenever moist air is trapped below a low-lying inversion layer, dense fog forms on or near the ground, and San Diego International Airport is sometimes forced to suspend operations.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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