Residents in the South Dakota state of the US had their eyes glued to the sky as it turned bright green before severe storms hit Sioux Falls city. Photos and videos of the rare phenomenon went viral after being shared online and left viewers puzzled. The Sioux Falls region witnessed more than three inches of rain and heavy winds brought by a thunderstorm on Tuesday.
The color of Sioux Falls’s sky rn is unreal. pic.twitter.com/IuS6bB1PSk
— Carl Jones (@Wx_Jones) July 5, 2022
The severe weather conditions were the result of a derecho that barrelled through South Dakota and other parts of the region. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), a derecho is a powerful band of moving showers or thunderstorms that are widespread and long-lived.
— Aafaque (@aafaque33) July 5, 2022
The derecho caused stormy winds that soon reached the speed of up to 99 miles per hour in the state. But before the storm arrived, the sky over South Dakota turned a shade of emerald green, baffling the residents with the rare and spooky phenomenon, reported Newsweek.
Sioux Falls, strong winds, hail and stupid people out trying to get home before it hit. Me, I am one of those stupid people but made it home. pic.twitter.com/pGM38Gg77T
— Mhor Rioghain (@morrighansaoirs) July 5, 2022
Pictures shared online showed mystifying scenes where the sky had turned green while stormy clouds hovered over the region before the storm. Sharing photos of the strange occurrence, NWS meteorologist Cory Martin explained it using some inforgraphics on Twitter.
Pics of the green sky from my family in Sioux Falls have been incredible! Had to dig up this fun green cloud infographic I made back in the day. Hail reports not too large at the moment, but storms are very moisture loaded in this warm, tropical environment. #SDwx #IAwx pic.twitter.com/S39JLSRfEu
— Cory Martin (@cory_martin) July 5, 2022
“Thunderstorms usually happen later in the day when the sky takes on a subtle reddish color as the sun angle slowly begins to approach the horizon,” the infographic read. It further stated that the water or ice particles in the storm clouds tend to scatter the blue light. The green colour appears when reddish light illuminates the blue water or ice in the clouds after being scattered by the atmosphere.
“This phenomenon is typically a visual warning sign that the thunderstorm is capable of producing very large hail!” the infographics stated.
While the green colour looked captivating, the storm that followed it disrupted the power supply in South Dakota leaving over 28,000 people without electricity. The destructive storm made its way to Sioux Falls and exited the state before heading towards Minnesota and Iowa.