How many of you saw the red sun in the afternoon today? I was on the balcony “ringing the changes” & I noticed that the sky was a funny colour of orangey brown & the sun was just a bright, very bright, fuzzy ball in the sky.
Later, perhaps around 4 pm, I went into our kitchen & I looked out the window & lo & behold there was a very bright RED sun hanging in the sky right in front of our place! So I went & called my wife & she called her brother & the three of us gazed for a few minutes at the spectacle in the sky!
The three of us thought there must be dust in the air & it reminded us of a metrological phenomenon in Spain called “Calima”, which is where dust is blown over the peninsula from the Sahara Desert. You get the same kind of effect in the sky as we had here today.
At 3.30 pm today we had to turn the lights on as it was so dark in the house! It seemed like we were about to have a heavy downpour!
I took a couple of photos with my phone’s camera but they didn’t come out at all red & I scrapped them.
I think it has been confirmed that this was indeed a “Calima” caused by the strong winds from ex-hurricane Ophelia bringing fine dust from the Sahara Desert. Perhaps there were some smoke particles from the terrible forest fires of Spain & Portugal mixed in too. I read this morning that Ophelia had whipped up the flames even more with its very strong winds as it came up from the Azores towards Ireland bordering the coasts of Portugal & Spain.
I forgot to mention the strong winds we have here all evening – though nothing like the strength of the wind in Ireland or the West coast of the UK & Scotland. It was quite a nuisance when I was trying to change the soil in my troughs of the balcony. It kept blowing the soil around & getting it in my eyes & throat. It has left me with an irritation in my chest this evening.
That spectacle sounds fascinating. I have seen the sky turn a dull orange and the brilliant fiery ball of a red-orange sun against the sky during bushfires here in Australia. As you say, it is the dust, or more precisely the particulate matter, be it dust or smoke, that causes the phenomenon. It was a regular sight during bushfire season. Now that I live way up north in the tropics it is swirling circular patterns of fluffy clouds against brilliant blue skies through the winter months. Quite spectacular. Summer brings grey, overcast skies accompanied by cyclones and monsoon rains.
The strongest winds I have experienced have come with cyclones. Yasi was category 5 with windspeeds above 300kph (186mph). I saw the destruction following, but hadn’t waited around for the cyclone to hit. We evacuated ourselves about 100km south as our house fell within the highly destructive wind radius and to our knowledge the house had never been through winds of such force, so we didn’t take chances. Upon our return we were amazed at how well the house withstood the force – not so the garden.