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This is why the sky turned pink and purple across Wales

07 Dec 2023 2 minute read
Pink and purple skies over Cardiff (Credit: Owen Thomas / Mike Hughes)

Social media has been inundated with people taking pictures of the sunset in Wales on Thursday evening.

This luminous light show of iridescent pinks and purples provided quite the sight in the skies above.

Some on socials reckoned it was because Doctor Who was filming locally, others with much more vivid imaginations believed it was an imminent alien invasion. However, the truth is much more straightforward.

It may not be an everyday occurrence but pink and purple skies at sunset are perfectly normal if a little rare.

According to BBC Wales weatherman Derek Brockway: “Due to the low angle of the sun’s rays at sunset, pink wavelengths light up the bottom of the cloud. These pink clouds are superimposed on a dark blue sky. The combination of pink and dark blue can make the sky look purple.”

Sarah Keith-Lucas from BBC Weather added: “Dust, pollution, water droplets, and cloud formations”can influence the colours of the sky.

“In addition to these influences, wavelengths play a large part in what colours we see in the sky.

“Occasionally, pink and purple will appear partially due to the optical illusion of the pink wavelengths lighting up the base of the cloud, and these pink clouds superimposed on a dark blue sky. The combination of pink and dark blue can make the sky appear a deep purple.”

So there we are, while the skies made for a startling sight this evening meteorology has the answer.

As you were.

Pics from the Merthyr Matters Facebook group
Pics from The Rhondda Facebook group

The meteorological explantation


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trefor owen
trefor owen
2 months ago

Ermmm across Wales?? Cardiff is not ‘all of Wales’

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
2 months ago
Reply to  trefor owen

Too true. We did not get the same effect up in Ceredigion, but we have had some very nice colours in the mornings when the cloud is broken.

Owen Trefor
Owen Trefor
2 months ago
Reply to  trefor owen

Correct. Cardiff is not all of Wales. This phenomenon was seen across the whole of Wales though. Calm down

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
2 months ago

No doubt Stephen “ap” Hughes thinks this is “woke”

Riki
Riki
2 months ago

Sorry but if it was naturally occurring it would happen more often. Yes, I have my conspiracy hat on atm.

Jessica Mali Celyn Thomas
Jessica Mali Celyn Thomas
2 months ago

Just about caught this in Bangor. Pretty damn impressive if I do say so myself.

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