People in Japan have been uploading pictures of a lovely but eerie weather phenomenon, as the deadly Typhoon Hagibis hits the land.
In the few hours before the thunderstorm hit Tokyo, locals found themselves looking upwards to discover shining purple skies.
Bracing themselves for the country’s worst hurricane in 60 years, many knew the unbelievable view was also a sinister one – as it often precedes a major thunderstorm.
The lovely skyscapes are a result of ‘scattering‘, a natural phenomenon that often foreshadows the devastation to come.
The lovely skyscapes are a result of ‘scattering’, a natural phenomenon that often foreshadows the destruction to come.
Scattering happens when heavy storms rid the atmosphere of larger particles, leaving fewer particles that scatter the light in all areas.
Lauren Rautenkranz a Meteorologist described the science behind it in short footage, saying:
“As sunlight shines down to Earth, most of the colors of the spectrum can reach the surface uninterrupted.”
“But the shorter wavelengths, blue and violet, are scattered in every direction. This light bounces from particle to particle until it eventually reaches your eyes. But the sky doesn’t appear violet and blue because of our eyes’ limitations.”
Usually, our eyes can only detect blue because violet is the smallest wavelength in the color spectrum.
Hurricane Michael, Rautenkrantz said:
“This combination allowed our eyes to see (the sky’s) true colors since violet is there, to begin with, we just don’t usually get to see it”
“The light was scattered around the moisture in the air, causing the magical purple colour.”
While news of the current death toll from Typhoon Hagibis vary, Kyodo News has told 35 people have died, 17 people are missing.
Check Out this Video
The hurricane also prompted many high profile games – including Rugby World Cup matches – to be canceled.
The Japan Meteorological organization issued the highest alert level for 12 sectors, with agency official Yasushi Kajihara said:
“Be ready for rainfall of the kind that you have never experienced.”
“Damage from floods and landslides is likely taking place already”
“It is critical that people take action urgently to protect their lives and the lives of loved ones.”