The remnants of Hurricane Ophelia caused an eerie orange sky and a red hue around the sun on Monday, Oct. 16.
The bizarre “red sun” was caused by hurricane winds carrying dust particles from wildfires across Iberia and Saharan dust from Africa, 10,000 feet into the atmosphere.
A representative from the Met Office said the glowing sun might return to some southern parts of the UK, but this time, it’s likely to be caused by dust blown over from wildfires in Spain and Portugal.
“It’s possible, we have detected some particles in the atmosphere,” said the representative.
“Whether it is quite as strong is uncertain,” she said, but those in the south of England are more likely to see a “red-ish or orange hue around the sun.”
— Catherine (@_catgee) October 17, 2017
Social media has been buzzing with images of skies with a sepia tint—with no filter.
— Gareth Jones (@GarethJonesTV) October 17, 2017
London’s Science Museum reassured twitter users that it’s not the apocalypse.
— Science Museum (@sciencemuseum) October 16, 2017
The spokeswoman added that the particles that caused the strange phenomenon do not pose a danger to health—the air quality remains good because the particles are so high up in the atmosphere.
While many Britons saw the glowing red sun from storm Ophelia, those in Ireland experienced the destructive nature of the storm.
— Met Office (@metoffice) October 16, 2017
An amber weather warning was issued covering Northern Ireland, north and west Wales, and the extreme southwest of Scotland between 12:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. local time on Monday, Oct. 16.
The Irish Meteorological Service advised people to stay indoors on Monday, and were asked to remove any loose items, like patio furniture or rubbish bins, for fear that they could turn into “wind missiles”. All schools and colleges were closed and thousands were left without power.
The destructive winds, that were as fast as 191 kilometers (118 mph) per hour, caused three deaths in the country. A woman and a man died in separate incidents when trees fell on their cars, while a second man died in an incident involving a chainsaw when he was clearing a fallen tree.