The weather, season and time of day are all important if you hope to see an atmospheric rainbow.
- The best rainbows appear in the morning and evening when the Sun is strong but low in the sky.
- Northern and southern latitudes away from the equator are good for rainbows because the Sun is lower at its zenith.
- Mountains and coastal areas can create ideal conditions because as air sweeps over them, it cools, condenses and falls as rain.
- Rainbows are rare in areas with little or no rainfall such as dry, desert conditions with few clouds.
- Too much cloud is not good because it blocks direct sunlight.
- Winter is not necessarily the best season because the light is weaker and there can be excessive cloud.
- Rainbows are less common around midday because the higher the Sun is in the sky the lower the rainbow.
- If the Sun is too high, then by the time the raindrops are in the right position to form part of a rainbow they are lost in the landscape.