On Tuesday morning (13), residents of Dallas, Texas, USA reported a phenomenon that left the sky a pink hue in the morning. The backlash came when a Reddit user shared a photo of the sky glowing in shades of pink.
The post, which reached more than 12,000 positive reactions, repeated the question of what it meant. “Not a filter, is the Dallas sky pink today???? I haven’t even lived here a year, what does that mean? user u/s0c-Magget wrote in the post.
Because the sky is blue?
We usually see white clouds because they scatter all wavelengths of light. While the blue of the sky is due to gases in the atmosphere, which better refract the short wavelengths of visible light that fall from above.
The orange and pink sky
At sunrise and sunset, light begins to focus laterally, forcing more gas to pass through. So the light has to travel a longer path and interact with more particles in the atmosphere that allow refraction of longer light waves, like red.
Although it is strange, the pink sky is a phenomenon that can also indicate that the rain is coming. This idea has been around for a long time and is even present in the Christian Bible.
“Red sky at dusk, good weather tomorrow; red and gloomy sky early in the morning, bad weather all day’
Matthew 16:2-3 Christian Bible
And there is even a scientific basis that can confirm the idea, which is explained by the movement of the sun and rain cells. Storms generally move from west to east while the sun moves in the other direction. In this way, rain clouds at dawn and dusk will always face away from the Sun and therefore refract the longer wave light.
“In the morning the sun will be in the east and the reddish light clouds will be in the west. Clouds moving from west to east will move towards the viewer. At night, the sun is in the west and the reddish-lit clouds will be in the east, moving away from the observer,” said Jeffrey R. French, assistant professor of meteorology at the University of Wyoming, in response to Newsweek.
And the green sky, what does that mean?
In the comments on the Reddit post, some users said green skies indicate a tornado is on the way. “I’ve lived here for over a decade. This [céu rosa] and green skies are a very bad sign of ideal tornado conditions,” user vishrit wrote.
Green skies are not a common occurrence and occur under certain conditions when clouds are filled with water and only refract blue-green light. “Green clouds are rare and tend to be associated with very high water or ice content in a cloud, as liquid, frozen water absorbs red light, yet requires the sun to be at a right angle and not obscured by other clouds ,” said Steven Sherwood, Professor of Meteorology at UNSW Sydney.
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