Why Has Storm Ophelia Darkened The Sky And Turned The Sun Red?

16 October 2017, 16:08 | Updated: 28 October 2019, 15:53

Parts of England have experienced an unusual side effect from Storm Ophelia: a blood red sunset at 3pm.

An unusual red sun and darkened sky have been reported in parts of hurricane England as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia whip debris into our atmosphere.

The former hurricane's powerful winds have pulled air and dust up from southern Europe and Africa - with the spectacular sight prompting "lots of calls" to the Met Office.

Houses of Parliament.
Picture: LBC

Tropical air and dust from the Sahara have been pulled into the UK's sky, as well as debris from forest fires in Portugal and Spain.

The dust scatters shorter wavelength blue light, giving the atmosphere its reddish appearance.

Forecaster Grahame Madge explained: "It's all connected with Ophelia, on the eastern side of the low pressure system air is coming up in the southern direction."It's most likely the appearance of sunset at midday is caused by the particles scattering the light and giving the appearance of a red sun."

Sharon Derrick was one of those admiring the dramatic skyline, saying: "Bristol looks like the film The Red Planet... the weather is bizarre."

London Eye
Picture: LBC

The Bristol Nomad - a part-time photographer - also took pictures of the "very freaky sky" over the city.

Over in Ireland, hundreds of birds were in the darkening skies.

Sarah in Cork tweeted: "Ummmm... think they know there's something big coming?"