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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

What causes the air to change colors during a storm?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (26839points) July 25th, 2010

Last night we had a magnificent storm. It’s also been exceptionally hot and hazy here the last few weeks, I’m talking serious humidity. We happened to be sitting outside during last night’s storm and the air around us turned bright pink. I watch EVERY storm that I possibly can (and I have my entire life), and I have never seen anything like it before. Everything had a really intense neon pink glow around us. It was literally as if you could see the air. Beautiful.

Was this just the light traveling all the way down to the ground through the moisture in the air? Is there a name for this phenomenon?

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5 Answers

max_gutierrez's avatar

i think it could be some material that went on with the air

Blackberry's avatar

It is caused by a few things like the type of particulates in the air, and the angle of the sun. Some people see green skies, orange, and yellow. But yes, pretty much it is scattering of the light. Rayleigh Scattering.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Blackberry you’re my hero today. :) Thank you!

downtide's avatar

I have often noticed this phenomenon. The air seems to turn pink/purple, and at the same time, it picks out and emphasises green to a greater degree so the trees stand out more. I’ve only ever noticed it in late afternoon. Before, but not too much before, sunset.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@downtide we actually see that a lot here, especially when the leaves turn and it gives the trees a unique glow.

This was a bit different. Similar, just more intense. I’ve never seen anything like it in 23 years of storm watching. Wish I could have caught it on film somehow.

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