Tamil Nadu

Come sunset, the sky is a riot of colour

It is a pre-monsoon phenomenon, say meteorologists

City residents walking on their terraces have been treated to gorgeous sunsets over the past few days. Multiple hues and streaks of light can be spotted in the twilight sky. Many have taken to social media to share photographs of orange and red streaks adorning the evening sky over the weekend.

Meteorologists said such hues are typical of a pre-monsoon sky. Officials of the Meteorological Department said that at times crepuscular rays, commonly referred to as Buddha Rays, are visible in the early evening sky over Chennai. These rays form when the sun goes below the horizon during the twilight hours.

K. Srikanth, who blogs with Chennaiyil Oru Mazhaikalam, said the phenomenon was due to the moisture left in the air after the thunderstorms in interior parts. “There is a refraction of the sun's rays over the sky. This is like the effect when light is passed through a prism in a science experiment. Here, moisture or water particles acts as prisms. Just like beautiful sunsets during the pre-monsoon season, sunrises can be brilliant during the northeast monsoon as thunderstorms occur over the sea,” he added.

Rain likely

The Meteorological Department has forecast isolated rainfall, particularly over coastal and interior areas, till April 30. Chennai could experience thundershowers on Wednesday.

In the 24 hours ending 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday, many places recorded light to moderate rainfall. Sholingur in Vellore district and Cincona in Coimbatore district were among the places that received 4 cm of rainfall.

N. Puviarasan, director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, Chennai, said dry weather might return after April 30 as a low pressure area was likely to form over South Andaman sea. It would trigger a change in wind direction to hot northwesterly winds over the State. This would lead to a rise in mercury level in interior areas.

The prevailing southeasterly winds have so far kept temperatures close to normal, particularly in coastal areas like Chennai, he added.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 6:23:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/come-sunset-the-sky-is-a-riot-of-colour/article31458173.ece

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