Pillars of light in Mishawaka skies explained by cold temperatures

(Mike Hoffman / WNDU)

Light pillars seen in Mishawaka skies last night are a beautiful side effect of the extremely cold temperatures.

WNDU Meteorologist Mike Hoffman reports that the effect comes from regular light reflecting off of ice crystals.

“When the air is that cold you many times get tiny ice crystals that just kind float in the air and lay on their side,” Hoffman explains on his Facebook page.

“When light from any street light, or similar light, reflects off each ice crystal (since it’s laying on it’s side parallel to the ground), it appears to be a beam shooting straight up into the air.”