How Hurricane Ophelia’s dust cloud gave Chichester moody skies and reddish sun…

Cathedral Sun

Chichester residents have been left puzzled by the unusual colour of the skies over the city today…but the mystery has been solved.

It’s said to be all down to the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia dragging in tropical air and dust from the Sahara which, in turn, led to a plume passing over the country. This has caused a sepia sky lit by a reddish sun and considerably reduced light levels.

People have swamped social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter with a collection of images taken as they go about their daily business. Chichester Cathedral was seen in a strange light around 1.30pm (above). A little while later, the view from North Street looking south showed the unusual sepia tint to the view.

North Street

One picture taken by staff at the pre-prep department at Great Ballard school, who described their picture, of a dark sky (below) as “very ominous” in their post on Twitter.

Dark Sky

Met Office forecaster Grahame Madge explains that the former Hurricane Ophelia is pulling air and dust up from southern Europe and Africa.

He said: “It’s all connected with Ophelia, on the eastern side of the low pressure system air is coming up in the southern direction. Air is being pulled from southern Europe and Africa and that air contains a lot of dust.

“So 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. It’s certainly spectacular at the moment and quite a talking point, we’ve had a lot of calls about it.”

About the Author

Carl Eldridge
Carl Eldridge is a hugely experienced journalist who has worked on local and national newspapers, magazines and written for websites over the past 30 years. He lives in Bognor Regis with his wife and son. And he is a life-long Arsenal fan.