So, why was the sky yellow in London today?

And no, that’s not a Fall Out Boy song title.

As I was moseying around Londontown today, I looked up to see an eerie, yellow aura hovering around every corner. At first, I didn’t know what to think. Maybe it was an odd bit of sun peaking through the typical cloud cover.

But the more I walked around, the more this mustard glow seemed to be a permanent fixture of the day. It was eerie. It looked like the dawn of the apocalypse.

None of the pictures I took on my humble iPhone could quite do the strangeness of the sky’s colour justice.


This didn’t help the retired YA lit sci-fi fan in me, which was panicking about aliens and classified experiments gone wrong.

Fortunately, I knew I wasn’t alone in my worry. Even Londoners (who welcome Tube delays, speed up when pedestrians are crossing and drink on empty stomachs) were stopping to take photos of the sky. So, this definitely wasn’t just the concern of the naive or faint of heart.

Alas, the real reason this creepy golden hue was lingering over London? Tropical storm Ophelia, formerly known as Hurricane Ophelia. (Some British media call the Irish storm “ex-hurricane Ophelia,” which I think is just the darnedest thing.)

All of the dust and debris storms like these bring scatters the sky’s blue light. This lets red light, which has a longer wave-length, shine through instead.

The Shard against today’s sky, photo from Express UK

As it turns out, this also gave the sun a bit of a red hue to those who looked at it.

With winds of about 100 mph, Ophelia has left three people dead and 320,000 without power in Ireland. It’s also set to hit Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

I am set to visit Scotland on Friday. So far, the worst Edinburgh has gotten from Ophelia is some rerouted plane landings. According to weather reports, Ophelia is supposed to hit the west coast of Scotland and wane before it reaches Edinburgh.

It’s strange to think I moved from Florida this summer to the U.K. and that tropical storms have still managed to wreak havoc on my life here.


By Caroline Colvin

Black retro-obsessed non-binary baddie ♡ pleasure & wellness advocate ♡ aesthetic archivist ♡

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