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Forums :: Forums :: WEATHER DISCUSSION
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Purple Sunsets???

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Benny ⭐
Sat Aug 31 2019, 10:56PM Email Thread Print View

Joined: Fri Aug 18 2006, 05:54PM
Posts: 10841
Something that has been driving me nuts over the past few weeks, the purple hue every day at sunset... Not reading too much into it, I assumed it was just haze and dust off the desert. When in reality, it's the result of 2 Volcano's around our planet spewing ash up into the stratosphere.

Here's an article courtesy of

Every year, on average, about 60 volcanoes erupt somewhere on Earth,
shooting ashy plumes of sulfurous gas thousands of feet into the air.
Rarely do those plumes make it all the way up to the stratosphere.
This summer, however, two volcanoes have done it. The Raikoke volcano
in the Kirul Islands (June 22nd) and the Ulawun volcano in New Guinea
(Aug. 3rd) both punched through to the stratosphere, sending material
as high as 60,000 ft.

The action of these two volcanoes may explain why many sky watchers
are starting to notice purple sunsets.

Why purple? Fine volcanic aerosols in the stratosphere scatter blue
light which, when mixed with ordinary sunset red, produces a violet
hue. The purple color is often preceded by a yellow arch hugging the
horizon. As the sun sets, violet beams emerge from the yellow,
overlapping to fill the western sky with a soft purple glow.
High-quality pictures of the phenomenon often show horizontal bands
cross-crossing the yellow arch. These bands are the volcanic gas.

Sky watchers shouldn’t expect to see purple every night. The volcanic
gas appears to be patchily distributed, bringing strange sunsets on
some nights, not all. Clear air, lack of clouds, and country settings
improves their visibility.

Sunset from Saturday evening 8/31/19
click to enlarge


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Sun Sep 01 2019, 06:25AM

Registered Member #13568
Joined: Sun Oct 23 2016, 01:54PM
Posts: 1470
Very interesting

Meridian Idaho Weather

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McCall Idaho Weather

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Around The Lake
Sun Sep 01 2019, 01:58PM

There is no such thing as a nobody as everyone touches someone's life
Registered Member #16
Joined: Mon Sep 25 2006, 10:38PM
Posts: 4227
Thank you for for the amazing information

Todd C
A Smile Goes A Long Way To Making Somebodys Day Great
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Sun Sep 01 2019, 02:43PM

Registered Member #8461
Joined: Sat Jul 20 2013, 01:27PM
Posts: 17
Thanks so much Ben! I had noticed the purple nights as well and wondered what caused them. The next question is, will it cause any changes in weather - cooling, increased albedo?

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Sun Sep 01 2019, 03:43PM
Registered Member #667
Joined: Sat Sep 15 2007, 02:12PM
Posts: 1
Thanks i too had noticed the purple - i was thinking of the "purple mountains majesty" but this makes much more sense. And perhaps the folks that wrote those lyrics were seeing the mountains through a purple haze like that. Apologies to Jimi Hendrix!
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©ammy ⭐
Fri Sep 06 2019, 09:09PM

Joined: Sat Aug 19 2006, 06:01PM
Posts: 13055
Here's another article with some more details: [Click Here]
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Cap'n Crunch
Sat Sep 07 2019, 08:54AM

Registered Member #12800
Joined: Tue Jan 05 2016, 09:02PM
Posts: 313


Your photo example looks remarkably like some old photos I was just going through. They were from a backpacking trip in the Sierras in the 70s and the colors had morphed such that the skies have the same purple hue as your pic. Fortunately, someone invented Photoshop and now I can return the shots to a semblance of their original colors.

Tim (KE6PMA)
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Oct 19 : 08:30am
As far as BVES wiring goes, up here in Surgarloaf it looks like something out of the 1800's with wires running every which way, My house is fed from a spice off of wires down the middle of the street. I would much prefer if it all was underground.

Oct 18 : 10:25pm
I'll try to find the legal discussion on this and repost it here.

Benny ⭐
Oct 18 : 09:50pm
Naw, it's specific to the threat, could be anywhere from hours to days. In our area it would generally be less than 24 hrs. Up in norcal they had had a multiday event so the outage duration followed.

Oct 18 : 08:53pm
This is not just a few hours folks. The new law prescribes very specific actions that a power company must follow once they've shut down. None of those actions can take place in a few hours- more like a few days.

©ammy ⭐
Oct 18 : 08:47pm
ButlerPeakFire - What took them so long to getting around to figuring out they needed to upgrade their system to be less prone to starting fires during conditions that we've been seeing, well....forever?

Oct 18 : 08:42pm
BVS follows SCE standards and works with the same contract design firms. Mine being one of them. They are currently starting to upgrade their systems for covered conductor. This should help strengthen their system against outages and phase to phase arcing that can create wildfires.

Benny ⭐
Oct 18 : 08:24pm
Yeah, it's all more or less the same thing... thankfully, we don't get the real strong Santa ana winds as in the valleys, passes and canyons.

Oct 18 : 08:23pm
Oh, I forgot about BVES. Thsts the same thing Edison has going. I think its being mandated by the PUC. Two weeks ago Edison had lots of warnings and some turn offs. This week there are warnings but not in this area. Some in San Berdo though.

Benny ⭐
Oct 18 : 08:01pm
We're not SCE, we're Bear Valley Electric Service (Big Bear Valley). This is the new standard to try and prevent the ignition of wildfires during times of high fire danger.

It's a proactive approach to protect life & property. [Click Here]

Oct 18 : 07:44pm
0n the Edison outage information web page, I dont see any of our nearby areas currently being considered for wind related shutdowns. Am I wrong.

Oct 18 : 07:29pm
I am a bit concerned that people are "normalizing" the behavior of the power company's potential shutdown of our power by comparing that to TRUE preparedness for disasters! This is a power company created crisis, NOT a natural disaster.

Benny ⭐
Oct 18 : 07:21pm
Remember we went through this same fire drill less than a week ago and power wasn't cut, this will be a weaker Santa Ana event, so I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. Always be prepared just in case!

Benny ⭐
Oct 18 : 07:14pm
I'll think you'll be ok for a few hours if you plan ahead... Imagine a winter storm with trees down again that takes the power out for days. At least this you can see coming and prepare for.

Oct 18 : 07:11pm
Boots, do you have a generator?

Oct 18 : 06:49pm
being prepared for those other things is not the same as cutting power if you have a well and livestock to water!!

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