Breaking: Rainbows appear over Birmingham during the Summer Solstice (photos)

Rainbow on June 20, 2020 at UAB. Photo by Tosha Gaines Photography – IG/ @toshaphotog

What are the chances?  Just an hour or two after the Summer Solstice began at 4:43pm, on June 20, 2020, Birmingham experienced a light summer pop-up shower. As a result, minutes later, suddenly a rainbow appeared over the city that would have made Noah and Kermit the Frog envious. 

Rainbow over Birmingham on June 20,2020. Photo by Audrey McDonald Atkins

Many of us were taken by surprise, including yours truly (I totally missed it). So, I asked folks to send me evidence – snapshots of Birmingham’s “rainbow connection” on Summer Solstice 2020.  It really did happen.

Here are a few of the photos we were able to secure:

Rainbows on June 20, 2020 at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Photo by Joi Brown
Rainbow over English Village. Photo by Stephen Kelly
Rainbow over Birmingham on June 20, 2020. Photo by Paul Hill.

Want to See More Birmingham Rainbows? Rainbow Wall & Rainbow Tunnel

Birmingham’s Rainbow Wall volunteers paint the 500 foot mural on June 1-2, 2019. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Yesterday’s rainbows reminded me that it has been just a little over a year since Marcus Fetch and a group of local volunteers painted the Rainbow Wall mural alongside the railroad tracks near Morris Avenue. 

The last time I was down on Morris Avenue was on a late Saturday afternoon in May.  The Rainbow Wall was being used as a backdrop for a couple that had just gotten married and some college graduates in their caps and gowns.  It has really become a destination.

Birmingham’s Rainbow Wall volunteers paint the 500 foot mural on June 1-2, 2019. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Of course, we all love the Rainbow LED Tunnels at the 14th, 18th, 19th and 20th Street train underpasses.  Along with just being very cool, the Rev Birmingham project has broken down the barrier between the north and south sides of downtown.

More Rainbows?

Photo/Graphic from Melissa Bailey

Have you seen more rainbows around Birmingham? Share them with us. 

Meanwhile, celebrate the Summer Solstice Rainbows of 2020. Let’s hope it is a sign of good times to come.


  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.