While Ireland is being battered by ex-hurricane Ophelia, with almost all services suspended, the UK experienced a unique entrance of the tropical storm.
Ireland may be code red but the UK’s sky is orange and red. Around lunchtime today, October 16th, British skies took on a romantic hue more suited to sunrise or sunset than midday.
Far from entering the apocolypse, this is a result of the incoming ex-hurricane Ophelia.
And now the weather in Britain: The sky is yellow, no one is sure what is happening, is the sun ok, also blustery nonsense, more to follow
— TechnicallyRaarrrghh (@TechnicallyRon) October 16, 2017
Ophelia is still working her way up the Atlantic coast and releasing her fury on the Irish, and will probably cause some other adverse weather conditions in the UK, especially around Scotland.
What you’re seeing when you look at the sky today is actually a little gift, all the way from the Sahara
Ophelia has carried dust all the way fro the African desert and has spread across the country, giving us this orange hue in the sky.
— Alex Hannam (@Hannam79) October 16, 2017
Ian Fergusson, a weatherman for the BBC in the West Country, solved the mysterious phenomenom when he tweeted:
W COUNTRY Many of you commenting on the orange hue of sun/sky today: courtesy Saharan dust aloft, brought N as ex-#Ophelia approaches
The strange skies have been spotted all over the British Isle, and Dr Dave Reynolds from The Weather Channel has explained why the sky is glowing.
Actual picture of the sky over Manchester at the mo. pic.twitter.com/DdmUywrlEn
— Mike Perry (@michaelguyperry) October 16, 2017
Here are the reasons:
Strong winds over Iberia on Sunday resulted in dust from the region being raised and then blown toward the UK on a strong south to south-westerly flow. Some of the dust may be particles from the fires presently raging through Portugal, though regular fine-grained dust would account for the majority.
High pressure over the western Mediterranean has also contibuted, although it doesn’t necessarily need a hurricane to do this (a regular, north Atlantic low would work just as well – as long as all the other conditions being there).
The cold front of Ophelia moved across southern Britain this morning and was very weak – with little rain to wash away the dust.
Despite the cold front coming through, the winds are still blowing westerly. Usually winds would skew and would be followed by fresher gusts of Atlantic air – but this won’t happen until later. When it does the colour will gradually fade.
— Dr Dan Shepperd (@dan_shepperd) October 16, 2017
Ophelia is moving towards the UK and will hit shortly. If you are in the area, please make sure you stay safe.
Amber wind warnings have been issued for parts of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, with yellow warnings in the south-west and north-west of England.