London sky turns yellow as storm blows in Saharan dust, Spanish smoke

LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - The sky over London turned an unusual shade of yellow on Monday as Storm Ophelia brought dust from the Sahara and smoke from wild fires in southern Europe that filtered out certain wavelengths of sunlight.

Downgraded from a hurricane overnight, Ophelia caused two deaths in Ireland on Monday, where it was the worst storm in half a century.

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London sky turns yellow as Ophelia brings in Saharan dust
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London sky turns yellow as Ophelia brings in Saharan dust
A plane flies past buildings in the Canary Wharf district as the sky turns red as dust from the Sahara carried by storm Ophelia filters sunlight over London, Britain, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs
The sky turns red over buildings in Canary Wharf as dust from the Sahara carried by storm Ophelia filters sunlight over London, Britain, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs
A woman photograhs buildings in Canary Wharf as the sky turns red as dust from the Sahara carried by storm Ophelia filters sunlight over London, Britain, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs
A man photographs the sky turning red over buildings in Canary Wharf as dust from the Sahara carried by storm Ophelia filters sunlight over London, Britain, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs
People walk through Canary Wharf while the sky overhead turns red as dust from the Sahara carried by storm Ophelia filters sunlight over London, Britain, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs
The sky turns red over buildings in Canary Wharf as dust from the Sahara carried by storm Ophelia filters sunlight over London, Britain, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs
UNSPECIFIED, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 16: The sun goes a golden yellow colour due to dust from the Sahara being blown in with Storm Ophelia on October 16, 2017 in Fulham, London, England. (Photo by Rob Ball/Getty Images)
The sky turns red over buildings in Canary Wharf as dust from the Sahara carried by storm Ophelia filters sunlight over London, Britain, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs
The sky turns dark during mid afternoon in the financial district of Canary Wharf in London, Britain, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Yann Tessier
The sky over Westminster turns orange as storm Ophelia brings dust from the Sahara, filtering the light over London, Britain, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Mary Turner
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 16: The sun goes a golden yellow colour over Putney due to dust from the Sahara being blown in with Storm Ophelia on October 16, 2017 in Putney, London, UK. (Photo by Rob Ball/Getty Images)
The sky over Westminster turns orange as storm Ophelia brings dust from the Sahara, filtering the light over London, Britain, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Mary Turner
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While winds were moderate in the British capital, the yellow sky surprised Londoners, many of whom posted pictures on social media.

"As Ophelia has come up from the Azores, the storm has picked up Saharan dust from North Africa and picked up dust from wild fires in Spain and Portugal," a spokeswoman for Britain's Met Office said.

"This yellowish hue is from the dust that is high up in the atmosphere and the blue element of the sunlight is scattered by the dust but the red element gets through so the sun appears redder and you get this sort of yellowish tinge," she said.

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