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Orange Sun

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:36 am
by Chris Richards
With the winds increasing here ahead of ex tropical storm Ophelia, here on the Wirral I've been watching a really eerie looking sight! It's a grey, murky sky overhead but with an orange looking sun appearing dimly but clearly through what seems a thick haze. There is some patchy water droplet cloud passing over the disc every now and then. The sun's outline is sharp so there is no ice cloud present. Lifted fog would otherwise be producing a white disc this late in the morning. I'm wondering if a cloud of dust or Saharan sand is responsible? The isobars on the synoptic charts I was looking at on Friday, when Ophelia was off the W African coast, suggested an air flow straight up to the UK. I've never seen anything like this before - so close to midday!

Chris Richards
West Kirby

Re: Orange Sun

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:36 pm
by Michael Brown
We have had the same experience here in Lancashire. The whole morning there has been a very odd and gloomy light until later in the morning when the sun began to peep through and was showing a distinct red hue apparently ( I am colour blind). A photograph from my daughter, Laoise, will help. Also a lot of dust on my car and other flat surfaces.

Miek Brown

Re: Orange Sun

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:04 pm
by Chris Richards
Yes, I think my car windscreen had dust patches on it too. There were a few light showers here around 8am, only partially dampening the ground.
When I went down to the town centre later in the morning the sky over the Dee estuary to the west looked brighter. Half an hour later "normal" blue sky with a little ragged Cu had spread overhead. The temperature then rose quite quickly to around 20 deg C.

Chris Richards

Re: Orange Sun

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:31 pm
by John Wilson
Same effect here. Most eery. According to a weather bulletin (BBC) the colour was due to a mix of Saharan sand and smoke from wildfires in Portugal. Sky cleared by mid-afternoon, but wind very strong by then.
Interesting blip on my barograph chart at about 05.15 BST this morning. Did a front pass? If not, can anyone explain?
regards to all

John

Re: Orange Sun

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:49 pm
by Nicholas Gardner
John Wilson wrote:Interesting blip on my barograph chart at about 05.15 BST this morning. Did a front pass? If not, can anyone explain?
16th October 2017
Time hPa
05:20 1011.0
05:25 1010.6
05:30 1010.4
05:35 1009.6
05:40 1010.1
05:45 1010.8
05:50 1010.6

John, was your 'blip' a sudden increase in pressure? If not then did it resemble anything like my 'dip' at 05:35?

It did not seem to get light this morning and the light levels were something more akin to just after the sun had set, right up until the sun started to shine weakly through thinning cloud at around 10:30. In the gloom the light had a yellowish colour to it and was so dark that it felt more like a dark twilight (they call it dimpsy around 'ere). Then there was an abrupt clearance to blue skies and glorious sunshine all day after that. It felt apocalyptic....

16th October 2017
Time W/m²
07:45 2
07:50 9
07:55 11
08:00 14
08:05 16
08:10 16
08:15 16
08:20 18
08:25 18
08:30 19
08:35 17
08:40 14
08:45 17
08:50 21
08:55 21
09:00 20
09:05 17
09:10 14
09:15 16
09:20 17
09:25 18
09:30 17
09:35 17
09:40 18
09:45 19
09:50 19
09:55 20
10:00 24
10:05 25
10:10 25
10:15 39
10:20 48
10:25 63
10:30 51

By 11:15 the solar irradiance readings were over 400.

Re: Orange Sun

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:23 pm
by Martin Rowley
... Similar experience to others here (West Moors/East Dorset): whilst out shopping around 0930-1030Z, sky becoming increasingly dark/threatening (Beaufort = "u" perhaps?) and by the time we got home 1045Z, my wife was getting seriously worried that 'something' awful was going to happen. No rain of course - but the deepest gloom lasted until ~1300Z, then started to lift slightly. At the same time, as the cloud thinned out/fragmented, the solar disk was seen deep red in a white-hazy-turbid sky - and this lasted until around 1315Z/1320Z, then a rapid change to a 'normal' sun occurred with the blue sky (albeit still on the turbid side) returning from the west.

Several years ago I was researching some diaries in Ireland and came across several reports which seem to tie up with our experiences today - and I note that some sources have linked today's event to fires in Iberia - but can't comment further on that:

https://sites.google.com/site/westmoors ... e-may-1870

Martin.

Re: Orange Sun

Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:47 pm
by John Wilson
Thank you for the quick response, Nicholas, and my apologies for not replying earlier. Yes, the blip on my barograph was a sudden dip of around 1mb a little after 05.00. Difficult to get a precise time from a standard small-pattern barograph. There was then a slight rebound followed by a slow fall in pressure.

regards to all

John

Re: Orange Sun

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:19 pm
by Martin Rowley
... the latest (October 2017) Bulletin has an excellent summary of the overall nature of this event - provided by Donald Perkins, and of course there are many individual reports contained elsewhere in that publication.

From another group, I offer the following animation .... which shows the principal atmospheric flow patterns as betrayed by dust, sea-salt and smoke, during the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. Of particular interest (the whole thing is fascinating) is the last section which neatly demonstrates the impact of Ophelia in bringing the mix of ex-Saharan dust and Iberian smoke - the latter appearing to dominate - across these islands.

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap171127.html

Martin.

Re: Orange Sun

Posted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:54 pm
by Paul Swinhoe
Here is the sky at Wolstanton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, on the same day at 11:10 UTC. This is without any filters or photoshopping!
SmokeAndDust.jpg
SmokeAndDust.jpg (54.29 KiB) Viewed 3351 times