Impressive Multiple Rainbow over North Central Kentucky

26 April 2005

Background: Rain showers lasted throughout much of the daylight hours on Tuesday, April 26th. During the very late afternoon and early evening, a few clear slots developed over parts of the region. Sunshine poured through these clear areas, illuminating the western edge of a couple shower clusters. This configuration allowed for an impressive rainbow to form as viewed from Louisville and western Hardin County. NWS forecasters on-duty at the time stated that it was one of the most impressive rainbows they've seen, exhibiting multiple rainbow structures. During most of the event, which lasted about 10 minutes, two rainbows were visible however at one brief instant a very dim third rainbow could be seen.

Below is a satellite image that shows a nice setup for rainbows over parts of the region. Clear patches of early evening sky right up against showers, which when illuminated properly, can produce a rainbow viewable to people along the western edge of the showers. The fact that the sun was relatively low in the western sky was also helpful. The NWS office in Flagstaff, Arizona has a page describing rainbows in some detail. This picture was taken around 7:15 PM EDT.

SAT imagery of rainbow area. 

Below is a collage of four pictures crudely stitched together of the double rainbow as viewed from the NWS Louisville forecast office. The photos were taken at approximately 7:33 PM EDT. Click on the image for a full sized version (about 850KB in size).

Double rainbow as seen from LMK office.

Below is a single photo taken at the NWS office. Click on the image for a full sized version.

Another shot of the rainbow from LMK office.

The following picture was taken by Webster Cundiff in western Hardin County around 7:15 PM EDT. Click on the image for the full sized picture.

Photo of the double rainbow by Webster Cundiff in Hardin County.

If you have any pictures of this rainbow event, please send them along to us. We'll post them here and in our online photo album. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.