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Red sun, yellow sky, strange smell? Here's why!

What a day! If you've stepped outside this morning you could be forgiven for wondering if you'd woken up on Mars. Many of you have told me just that! There's a blood red sun, a yellow sky and a rather strange smell. But I'm here to tell you that all is well! The world is not about to end, and there is a good reason for all of it! So here's the most likely explanation.

Red sun over Menai Bridge Credit: Marilyn E Williams
Barry skies Credit: Stew Pritchard
Red Sun over the Dyfi Estuary Credit: Janet Baxter
Yellow sky over Abertysswg Credit: Dean Taylor

The unusual colour of the sky and the redness of the sun today is possibly due to desert dust high up in the atmosphere originating from North Africa, along with smoke from wildfires occurring over northern Iberia.

Morning sun over Wales Credit: Paul Pierce
Red sun over Crickhowell Credit: Claire Kingdon

As ex-hurricane Ophelia passes to the west of the UK is it bringing with it air from much further south and this air is not only giving us today’s warmer temperatures but also bringing the dust with it. This dust scatters the blue light from the sun letting more red light through, much as you would usually see at sunrise or sunset.

Credit: Darren Laurie
A pink, dusty sky over Barry Island Credit: Valley Visuals

Measurements from the surface air quality network show no evidence of significant dust concentrations in the air at the surface.

Red sun Credit: Ian Humphreys

Please keep your pictures coming my way! You can tweet them to me @ruthwignall, and I'll keep you updated throughout the day!