Sun pillars light up the sky at sunset Friday


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Sunsets in north-central West Virginia have been beautiful as of late, but Friday’s finish to the day was extraordinarily lovely. Why? It’s because a “Sun Pillar” was spotted amidst the clouds.

Friday’s sunset in Fairmont – Kerri Grandstaff

What is a sun pillar? According to the National Weather Service, a sun pillar “appears as a shaft of light extending vertically above the sun, most often at sunrise or sundown.”

Friday’s sunset in Grafton – Ashlie Clark

Sun pillars are a result of ice crystals falling through the air, reflecting the sun’s rays off of them causing a “pillar of light.”

Friday’s sunset along Route 50 in Taylor County – JessaLea Posey

Sun pillars usually occur when the sun is low on the horizon, typically during the winter season.

Friday’s sunset in Fairmont – Monica Shay Smith

If you have any pictures of these sun pillars that you would like to send, make sure to send them to the StormTracker 12 weather team on Facebook, Twitter, our website, or by email at

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