Science

Storm Ophelia sparks freak weather phenomenon

Storm Ophelia caused destruction when it raged over Ireland and the UK, killing at least three people and pummelling the country with gusts of wind up to 100 mph.

Three victims were reported to have died, with one woman killed in the south of the country when a tree fell on her car in the storm.

Ophelia crossed West Ireland early in the morning of Monday 16 October. As a result of the high winds and foam from the sea, roads and buildings on the western side of the UK were covered with foam. Driving conditions were therefore extremely difficult.

On UEA’s campus, there was a dramatic orange and red sky.

Ophelia was listed a Category 3 storm as it worsened over the weekend, encompassing an entire town. More than 1,000 army personnel were sent to affected areas, power lines were out and roads were blocked due to flying debris and dozens of fallen trees.

Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, said: “This is a national emergency and is the worst storm I have seen in half a century”.

According to NIE Networks, it was reported that in Northern Ireland over 50,000 households lost power during the storm.

The orange sky (pictured) was caused by the storm pushing warm air from Africa northwards, and taking Saharan dust with it.

When the air moved towards Ireland and the UK, smoke and tiny debris from wildfires in Spain and Portugal was also transported across.

24/10/2017

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