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Skies above Japan turned purple in the hours before Typhoon Hagibis hit

The eerie phenomenon, which often precedes or follows a major storm, is the result of ‘scattering’.

The sky turned purple before the storm (@ika-mesugorira/PA)
The sky turned purple before the storm (@ika-mesugorira/PA)

By Megan Baynes, PA

The skies above Japan turned purple before the country’s worst storm in 60 years hit.

Before the heavy downpours and strong winds pounded Tokyo and the surrounding areas, residents captured pictures of the bright pink and purple sky.

The eerie phenomenon, which often precedes or follows a major storm, is the result of “scattering”.

This happens when molecules and small particles in the atmosphere influence the direction of light, causing the light to scatter.

Heavy storms wash away the larger particles which have absorbed more light and scattered wavelengths more evenly. This makes the colours of the sky appear more vivid.

Shelves in the city’s supermarkets were bare after people stocked up on water and food ahead of Typhoon Hagibis.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned of dangerously heavy rainfall in Tokyo and surrounding areas, including Gunma, Saitama and Kanagawa, and later expanded the area to include Fukushima and Miyagi to the north.

Authorities also warned of mudslides, common in mountainous Japan.

Rugby World Cup matches, concerts and other events in the typhoon’s path were cancelled, while flights were grounded and train services halted.

PA

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