FACT CHECK: Is a lioness truly giving birth when it rains while sunny?

An old Nigerian myth known to many claims a lioness is giving birth each time it rains while the sun is also out…..CONTINUE READING....CONTINUE READING

This claim is not only associated with Nigerians, other countries have different interpretations of the natural occurrence.

In Albania, when it rains and the sun shines, people say that a Romani wedding is happening somewhere nearby. In some other places, they say it is either the devil is getting married, or beating his wife .

In Hawaii, they say the occurrence is due to a hole in the heavens. In fact, the occurrence is locally known in Hawaii as pukalani, which means a hole in the sky.

In Estonia, the phenomenon is described as “orphans’ tears”, where the sun is the grandmother drying the tears. Those in the Maldives refer to it as the rain that falls when a noble infidel dies. Some are of the opinion that the occurrence brings good luck.

Showers come from cumulus clouds

as a result of convection, and they only last for a short period. Showers are also characterised by rapid fluctuations of intensity, therefore, they only have a small coverage area.

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On the other hand, rain originates from stratus clouds

which are usually part of a larger frontal weather system. Rain in contrast to showers is usually widespread, bringing precipitation to a wider area which lasts for a longer period.

The unusual weather occurrence is widely known as Sun showers in many English-speaking countries. It is perceived to be odd because, before rainfall, it is expected that the sky is totally cloudy, such that it blocks sunlight from reflecting.

The showers occur with broken cloud conditions, which allows the sun’s radiation to penetrate. They also occur as a result of accompanying winds from a rainstorm, blowing airborne raindrops miles away into an area with no cloud, hence the sunshower phenomenon.

The showers often occur when the weather condition is largely unstable, mostly during spring and summer, when the sun’s angle permits it to shine beneath the rain clouds .

Sun showers are common when the sun is low on the horizon, probably in the midafternoon or midmorning, or when rain showers move east. They rarely occur when the sun is straight overhead or is full.
Scientists explained

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that during unstable atmospheric conditions, temperature variations which cause air columns to move vertically and rise rapidly in some places are also responsible for air to sink in other places.

In the rising air columns, what happens is that the air cools and condenses moisture within it, hence allowing clouds and showers to develop. In the sinking columns, the air suppresses clouds, creating areas of clear skies between showers and the possibility of a sun shower.

The same temperature variation responsible for sunshower often leads to the appearance of a rainbow, provided the sun is significantly at a low angle.

In some other cases, a sunshower can be created when a single rain shower cloud passes overhead, and the Sun’s angle keeps the sunlight from being obstructed by overhead clouds. In rare instances, when a dissipating cloud produces rain, the sun can break through the clouds while the drops are still falling.

There is no climatological evidence to prove that sunshowers have a link with animals reproducing their young. The old existing myth has different folkloric interpretations which transcend cultures and countries…..CONTINUE READING