GOODLAND, Kan. (KSNW) — The bitterly cold temperatures that grabbed ahold of Kansas this weekend created an interesting phenomenon — pillars of light. But you had to brave the cold to see it.
Brandon Vincent with the U.S. National Weather Service office in Goodland got some video of the pillars rising from Goodland early Sunday.
An NWS Goodland Facebook post says the video was shot at 3:45 a.m. MST when the air temperature was 1 degree, the wind was from the north-northeast at 15 mph, and the wind chill was 18 below.
People from Colby, Oakley, WaKeeney, Jennings, and Burlington commented that they also saw pillars of light.
One person said, “… the whole town looked like castles … made me think of the Land of Oz!”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the light pillars are created by falling ice crystals, also called diamond dust. The crystals appear like fog, with individual water particles forming directly as ice. The shape of the individual crystals causes the pillar above light sources.
The NWS says the ice crystals are so tiny that they seem suspended in the air. They happen at low temperatures in a stable atmosphere.