The skies in Florida turned a spectacular shade of purple Wednesday night, Sept. 4, after Hurricane Dorian moved up the state’s coast as a Category 2 storm.
Local residents shared their photos of the sunset on social media, depicting a beautiful, yet sometimes haunting image.
— Alex Boyd (@alisdare8) September 5, 2019
The phenomenon known as “scattering” is common after hurricanes and isn’t the first time in Florida. The same phenomenon happened last year with Hurricane Michael.
Experts said it happens when hurricane storm clouds distort ultraviolet light from the sun in a particular way as it sets “as if you’re looking through a filter.”
“You’re seeing a sunset normally, but you have low clouds underneath from the hurricane that are distorting the [normal sunset] colors to make it seem purple,” storm expert Steve Fundaro told First Coast News.
— Amy Pope-Latham, LCSW (@coastalBtherapy) September 5, 2019
After causing catastrophic destruction in the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm, Dorian stayed just far enough away from Florida to limit its impacts on the state.
Nevertheless, the storm regained strength late Wednesday, again becoming a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained wind speeds of 115 miles per hour as it moved slowly up the U.S. Southeast coast and approached North and South Carolina.