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Science proves what we knew all along: They don’t call us the Rainbow State for nothing

Rainbow at Waimea Bay on Oahu.
Rainbow at Waimea Bay on Oahu.(Cristobal)
Updated: Mar. 15, 2021 at 1:01 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Rainbows are a common phenomenon in Hawaii, but have you ever wondered why?

In a new publication by an University of Hawaii scientist and professor, Steven Businger laid out all the reasons why Hawaii is the best place on Earth to experience the wonder of rainbows.

Through his research, he found that Hawaii’s clean air, lush valleys and daytime heating are just a few factors that contribute to the vibrant rainbows that can be seen across the islands.

“At night, a warm sea surface heats the atmosphere from below, while radiation to space cools cloud tops, resulting in deeper rain showers in the morning that produce rainbows in time for breakfast,” said Businger.

Hawaii’s mountains and trade winds also play a factor into forming rain showers that are essential for rainbows.

Further, Businger explained that due to the remoteness of the Hawaiian Islands, the air is exceptionally clean and free of pollution, continental dust and pollen.

“The clean air ensures the appearance of bright rainbows with a full spectrum of colors,” he said

After listing these reasons and more, Businger even went as far as to name Hawaii the rainbow capital of the world ― which shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the natural phenomenon is prominent throughout the islands.

Rainbows don’t only appear in nature in Hawaii, but they can also be found on our state license plates, IDs and sports teams.

This natural phenomenon even has a special meaning in Hawaiian culture as it is often seen as a symbol of transformation and a pathway between Earth and Heaven, which is a common idea in many cultures around the world.

If you are hoping to chase some rainbows, Businger also developed an app, RainbowChase. Users can view radar and satellite images of rain and clouds, along with current and future weather.

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