Why does the sky show an orange tint?

From Berry to the foothills of Savoy via Provence, Internet users have had the slight feeling of living at Amelie Poulain or in Blade runner, according to film preferences. In question, an ocher sky, displaying all the shades of dirty yellow to strong orange, this Saturday, February 6.

Rain laden with sand

But no apocalypse or major fire: the unusual color of the sky is due … to the sand of the Sahara. A sandstorm in the Rhône valley? In reality, the storm took place on the other side of the Mediterranean and the French sky displays only a simple effect of sirocco. This Mediterranean wind is triggered when a mass of hot, dry air above the Sahara is “sucked” in by a depression above the Mediterranean. This “air hole” carries winds laden with sand and particles to the north.

The phenomenon is not uncommon in itself, but it normally occurs more in the spring and its exceptional intensity this weekend is the happiness (or fear!) Of amateur photographers. Once up to the cold north, these air masses cause “sandy” precipitation. By dropping the particles coming up from the Sahara, the rain also puts an end to the phenomenon.

Floods and floods in Charente

On the rainy side, some departments have other reasons for concern. Météo France still placed nine departments on orange vigilance for flood risks (1), Saturday morning.

A new active disturbance will water much of the country, describes the national meteorological body. These new rains, the cumulative amounts of which should remain moderate, will water saturated soils, and will therefore be likely to generate new increases in level on the upstream parts of the rivers. “ The situation in Charente is particularly worrying.

In Jarnac and Cognac, the river reached 12.42 m and 7.50 m respectively on Friday evening, not far from the level of the great flood of 1994. The firefighters have already carried out more than a hundred interventions, and the 92 prisoners from the Saintes remand center were transferred to establishments in Nouvelle-Aquitaine “In order to anticipate possible difficulties of access” in prison, according to the Charente-Maritime prefecture. Peak flooding is expected at the end of the weekend.

(1) Aine (O2), Charente (16), Charente maritime (17), Landes (40), Maine-et-Loire (49), Oise (60), Saone-et Loire, Seine-et-Marne (77) and Somme (80).


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