The same process that causes a ring around the sun can also cause a ring around the moon. The culprit behind these optical phenomena are high altitude cirrus clouds. These high clouds are primarily composed of ice crystals as light is refracted through the ice crystals.
Many times a ring around the sun or moon can be an early sign that a storm system is approaching. Typically high clouds are the first cloud types to arrive in advance of a rainmaker. This phenomena is actually one part of weather folklore that is most valid during the colder months: “ A ring around the sun or moon, means rain or snow soon.” This is not always the case however as some high cirrus clouds not associated with a rainmaker can drift across Alabama. That was the case yesterday, so no worries, we’re still forecasting plenty of sunshine for today.
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt