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Purple skies seen across England with sunrises

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Beverley Senturk

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Purple reign: The weather conditions created some spectacular images on the coast, like in Beverley Senturk’s photo of Scarborough,North Yorkshire

Early risers were treated to a spectacular sunrise across England on Thursday morning, with skies turning shades of purple, pink and lilac.

BBC Weather Watchers sent in vivid images from the North Yorkshire coastline all the way down to Dorset capturing the unusual weather conditions.

QueniboroughImage copyright

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BBC Weather Watcher Medievaljeremy took this image of the deep purple sky in Queniborough, Leicestershire

BBC Weather presenter Sarah Keith-Lucas said one explanation for the colours could be recent “low pressure systems moving in from the Atlantic”.

She said they caused “rapidly rising air over the sea, which can lead to more salt molecules in the atmosphere”, leading to the light being scattered more prolifically and creating “more vibrant pink and purple colours during sunrise and sunset”.

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Here’s a peaceful scene taken in Bridlington, East Yorkshire

A photo of the purple sky in Coventry through tree branchesImage copyright
Kingfisher Whisperer

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In the pink: BBC Weather Watcher Kingfisher captured this purple vista in Coventry

Why skies change in colour – Sarah Keith-Lucas, BBC Weather

The colour of the sky is determined by the scattering of the sun’s light rays as they pass through our atmosphere.

Shorter wavelengths of blue and indigo are easily scattered, but longer wavelengths of orange and red are not so easily scattered and hence pass through to our eyes, meaning the sky often appears red, pink or orange at sunrise and sunset.

The exact colours of a sunrise rely on factors such as dust, pollution, water droplets and cloud formations, and occasionally they appear more purple and pink rather than the more common orange and reds.

This can be in part, the optical illusion of the pink wavelengths lighting up the base of the cloud (due to the low angle of the sun’s rays), and these pink clouds superimposed on a dark blue sky.

The combination of pink and dark blue can make the sky appear a deep purple.

Chester StationImage copyright
Rachael Reynolds

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Rachael Reynolds took an atmospheric image of Chester Station

Dorset shops

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The sky turned a shade of lilac in Dorchester, Dorset on Thursday morning

Inkberrow in WorcestershireImage copyright

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BBC Weather Watcher Avril posted this image from Inkberrow in Worcestershire

Pink and purple hazes in Southam, WarwickshireImage copyright

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BBC Weather Watcher Thedogwalker captured these pink and purple hazes in Southam, Warwickshire

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Pretty in pink: Clouds in Greenhill, South Yorkshire glowed vivid shades of pink and purple

A purple Sutton ColdfieldImage copyright
Graham’s vista

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Royal purple for a royal borough: Weather Watcher Graham’s Vista took this photo in Sutton Coldfield


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