Residents in the area of Sioux Falls saw a hauntingly unusual occurrence on Tuesday before severe weather swept through South Dakota: a green sky.
The sky was indeed green. And not a light green, the kind of green that characterizes the sky prior to the appearance of aliens in a Jerry Bruckheimer film. Or before Dorothy and her tiny dog are also threatened by the Wicked Witch of the West.
A derecho hit a large portion of South Dakota on Tuesday, as well as Minnesota and Iowa, according to the National Weather Service, and thousands of people were left without power for hours after the “destructive,” protracted wind storm. The extent of the storm’s damage was unknown as of Tuesday night because warnings and the storm’s path extended as far as Wisconsin, according to the weather service.
The storm also brought murky green skies, as well as black, blue, gray, and heavy rain to southeast South Dakota, including the Sioux Falls region. While Yahoo! searched for explanations for the green sky, weather watchers shared images of the ominous sky on Twitter.
Are green skies a sign that a tornado is approaching?
Although severe weather is frequently accompanied by green skies, a tornado is not necessarily imminent. According to AccuWeather, there isn’t a direct connection between the two.
Why is the sky green in bad weather?
According to Scientific American, the reason why green skies occur is not fully understood. However, some researchers claim that if a thunderstorm happens during a period of red light, such as a sunset, water particles in the air may cause the sky to appear slightly green. The ideal storm for a green sky can be created by the gray cloud of a thunderstorm, water particles that cause red light to bend and appear blue, and an abundance of red light in the sky.
See pictures of the South Dakota green sky.
Jaden (@jkarmill) observed that the sky appeared to be a neon green color.
— jaden 🥞 🍦 (@jkarmill) July 5, 2022
A meteorologist on Twitter shared a picture of the unusually green sky along with a diagram that described it.
Pics of the green sky from my family in Sioux Falls have been incredible! Had to dig up this fun green cloud infographic I made back in the day. Hail reports not too large at the moment, but storms are very moisture loaded in this warm, tropical environment. #SDwx #IAwx pic.twitter.com/S39JLSRfEu
— Cory Martin (@cory_martin) July 5, 2022
In this video, two people compare the sky to “Stranger Things” and “The Wizard of Oz,” respectively. There is a cuss word in this sentence.
— J (@Punkey_Power) July 5, 2022
Even a Virginian meteorologist noticed how green the skies in Sioux Falls turned.
— Chris Michaels (@WSLS_Michaels) July 5, 2022
Naturally, a weather reporter from Sioux Falls noticed.
Very green sky on the west side of Sioux Falls pic.twitter.com/ECeZ97MJyl
— Aaron Doudna (@Aaron_Doodah) July 5, 2022
— Tanner Charles 🌪 (@TannerCharlesMN) July 5, 2022
Yikes! Got that green tornado sky. pic.twitter.com/1r5QUucMgb
— Susan Kroger (@susanckroger) July 5, 2022