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A sunset sunshower in the Mojave desert
A sunshower over Crater Mountain, Landers, California

A sunshower or sun shower is a meteorological phenomenon in which rain falls while the sun is shining.[1] A sunshower is usually the result of accompanying winds associated with a rain storm sometimes miles away, blowing the airborne raindrops into an area where there are no clouds, therefore causing a sunshower. Sometimes a sunshower is created when a single rain shower cloud passes overhead, and the Sun's angle keeps the sunlight from being obstructed by overhead clouds.

Sunshower conditions often lead to the appearance of a rainbow, if the sun is at a sufficiently low angle.[1] Although used in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK, the term "sunshower" is rarely found in dictionaries.[2] Additionally, the phenomenon has a wide range of sometimes remarkably similar folkloric names in cultures around the world.[3] A common theme is that of clever animals and tricksters getting married or related to the devil, although many variations of this theme are in existence.[2][3]

Folkloric names

A sunshower over Waller creek in Austin, Texas.



In the Southern United States, a sunshower is traditionally believed to be when "the devil is beating his wife." A regional belief from Tennessee is "the devil is kissing his wife".[7]

Other variations

In popular culture

See also


  1. ^ a b Symonds, Steve (2004). "Weather Terms - Wild Weather". ABC North Coast. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
  2. ^ a b c d e Quinion, Michael (2001). "Monkey's Wedding". World Wide Words. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
  3. ^ a b Vaux, Bert (1998). "Sunshower summary". Retrieved 17 November 2006.
  4. ^ Ferro Ruibal, Xesús (2007). "Cando chove e dá o sol... ¿Un fraseoloxismo internacional poliédrico?" (PDF). Cadernos de Fraseoloxía Galega (in Galician). Centro Ramón Piñeiro para a Investigación en Humanidades (9): 67–94.
  5. ^ "Kirmes". Redewendungen : Wörterbuch der deutschen Idiomatik (in German) (4th ed.). Berlin, Mannheim, Zürich: Duden. 2013. ISBN 9783411023929.
  6. ^ "Rare sunshower phenomenon". CNN iReport. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Sunshowers: When The Devil Beats His Wife". Appalachian Magazine. 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  8. ^ "A year of words".
  9. ^ "Слепой дождь". (in Russian).