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We’ve Had Some Pretty Impressive Sunsets Lately, But Why?

13 Dec 2017, 11:26 am
Bear Lake, Utah sunrise photo submitted to WeatherNation by twitter user @Carol1Dyer.

From the Northeast, to the South, to the High Plains and the Rockies, there have truly been some spectacular sunrises and sunsets this Fall.

But why – why has so much of the country experienced these beautiful phenomena.

Before we answer that question, let’s first start with why we even see the beautiful yellows, oranges and reds in the sky, that make up these phenomena.

These colors, the reds, yellows and the oranges, become visible as the blues and violets that make up sunlight are scattered out by the atmosphere as the sun passes low in the horizon.

And the reason we may be potentially experiencing more of these beautiful phenomena lately deals with less pollution and even less moisture in the atmosphere. With less pollution and moisture in the atmosphere, which is typical in the fall and winter, there are more impressive, clear views of the horizon and thus better and clearer views of these phenomena.

This Fall, it’s been exceptionally dry across most of the country, potentially improving the visibility of the horizon. The US drought monitor even shows that large chucks of the nation has been experiencing dry or drought conditions.

US Drought Monitor Issued on November 30, 2017. Large portions of the United States is dealing with dry or drought conditions.

And what can add even more to these phenomena are mid and high-level clouds, as these clouds can act as reflectors or projector screens for the beautiful red and orange colors in the sky.

So, as we continue through Fall and Winter, get ready for to enjoy more spectacular views, especially it stays dry and air pollution levels are low.

For WeatherNation, I am Meteorologist Marcus Walter.

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