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In South Dakota, after a severe thunderstorm, the sky turned green: residents posted shocking photos and videos online

Images posted online show South Dakota's skies turned an ominous shade of green as violent storms approached Sue Falls. Why the blue sky turned green Newsweek.

Photo: Shutterstock

On July 5, thunderstorms brought strong winds and more than three inches (7,6 cm) of rain to the Sue Falls area.

Local residents began to publish footage as if from another planet - the sky turned completely green.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said the severe weather was part of a derecho, a series of related storms with winds in excess of 58 miles (93,3 km) per hour. (Derekho is a long-lived, straight-line hurricane associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms, known as the mesoscale convective system.)

Winds from the storm reached speeds of 99 miles (159 km) per hour in parts of South Dakota. Several photos shared on social media show green skies and ominous storm clouds approaching Sue City.

“Green, green. This is what the sky looks like in Sioux Falls right now as major storms rip through South Carolina,” Fox Weather meteorologist Heather Brinkmann tweeted alongside a photo of a road surrounded by green skies.

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“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said its user @aafaque33 on the same social network, sharing an image of a cloudy green-blue sky. “Green skies with a combination of blues in Sew Falls, South Dakota.”

“The color of the Sue Falls sky is unreal right now,” @Wx_Jones tweeted.

NWS meteorologist Corey Martin commented on the "incredible" and unusual color of the sky by sharing an infographic on Twitter explaining that the visual effect was caused by the reddish light of the setting sun reacting with blue water droplets inside thunderclouds.

Thunderstorms typically occur in the late afternoon when the sky takes on a slight reddish hue as the angle of the sun slowly begins to approach the horizon. - Particles in thunderclouds with significant depth and water content will mostly scatter blue light. When the reddish light scattered by the atmosphere illuminates the blue water/ice droplets in the cloud, they glow green.”

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“To achieve this color in a cloud requires a huge amount of water, which usually means the presence of a significant amount of ice (large hail). This phenomenon is usually a visual warning sign that a thunderstorm is capable of producing very large hail,” he explained.

Martin noted that hail during the storm in Sue Falls is reportedly "not too big at the moment." NWS Twitter account Sioux Falls later shared Martin's tweet and commented that "most of the hail reports" in the area involved ice floes smaller than one inch (2,5 cm).

More than 28 people were left without power in South Dakota due to the storm, according to PowerOutage.US. The storms moved into Sue Falls from the west and then left the state and headed for southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa.

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