If you woke up late today because of the orange hue in the sky, confusing you into thinking it was dawn, then you’ve fallen prey to a strange phenomenon.
Look out your window and you will see a strange orange colour on the horizon which makes everything feel like it’s been hit with the sepia instagram filter.
Far from waking up in Blade Runner 2049, however, 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
The worst of Ophelia’s impact will be felt in the west of Ireland, but the UK isn’t likely to suffer as much from the damaging winds.
Despite this, most of the country will be able to notice the ex-hurricane’s effects if they look towards the heavens. What you’re looking at up there has come all the way from the Sahara.
The dust from the African desert has been carried by Ophelia and has spread across the country, giving us this orange hue in the sky.
— Alex Hannam (@Hannam79) October 16, 2017
Ian Fergusson, weatherman for the BBC in the West Country tweeted:
W COUNTRY Many of you commenting on the orange hue of sun/sky today: courtesy Saharan dust aloft, brought N as ex-
The phenonemon has been reported all around the country, and Dr Dave Reynolds from The Weather Channel has said why the sky has the warm glow.
Actual picture of the sky over Manchester at the mo. pic.twitter.com/DdmUywrlEn
— Mike Perry (@michaelguyperry) October 16, 2017
Here are the reasons:
Winds were strong over Iberia on Sunday, which has resulted in dust from there being raised and then blow to the UK on a strong south to south-westerly flow. Some of the dust may be particulates from the fires, although I think regular fine-grained dust would account for the majority.
This is a result of Ophelia to the west of Portugal (on Sunday) and high pressure over the western Mediterranean, although it doesn’t necessarily need a hurricane to do this (a regular, north Atlantic low would be just as good – so long as all the other conditions are met).
Furthermore, and importantly, the cold front of Ophelia moved across southern Britain this morning and was very weak – this meant there was not much rain to wash the dust out.
The winds are still southerly, despite the cold front coming through. Usually winds would veer and fresher (=clearer) Atlantic air would come in behind a cold front – but this won’t happen until later today. As fresher air moves in later today, expect the colouration to gradually fade.
— Dr Dan Shepperd (@dan_shepperd) October 16, 2017
Ophelia is expected to hit the UK very soon, with varying weather warnings across the nation.
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.