Sky Turns Green Over South Dakota In Rare Weather Phenomenon

Sky Turns Green Over South Dakota In Rare Weather Phenomenon

In what looked like a scene out of a science fiction movie, the sky over Sioux Falls, South Dakota, turned green when a thunderstorm moved through the area on Tuesday afternoon.

The storm resulted in high winds, heavy rain, and some hail, but what drew everyone’s attention was the ominous green sky.

“Very green sky on the west side of Sioux Falls,” Dakota News Now Meteorologist Aaron Doudna tweeted along with a photo.

Very green sky on the west side of Sioux Falls

— Aaron Doudna (@Aaron_Doodah) July 5, 2022

One Twitter user posted a video of the rain and hail coming down during the storm, showing the obvious green hue.

Sioux Falls, strong winds, hail and stupid people out trying to get home before it hit. Me, I am one of those stupid people but made it home.

— Mhor Rioghain (@morrighansaoirs) July 5, 2022

Others posted photos of the phenomenon, describing the spectacle as “incredible” and “insane.”

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

— Cory Martin (@cory_martin) July 5, 2022

The green in this thing is insane! Taken in Sioux Falls South Dakota looking south west. #sdwx

— Tanner Charles 🌪 (@TannerCharlesMN) July 5, 2022

Some have claimed that tornadoes or hail storms cause green skies, but scientists have debunked that theory and have yet to nail down the exact cause of the rare phenomenon.

“In areas where [tornadoes] are common, they are said to be the cause of green storms. Or you will be told, often with considerable vehemence, that hail causes the greenness. Both explanations are easily refuted by observations,” said Craig Bohren, a physicist at Pennsylvania State University at the time, according to Scientific American in 2007. 

Researchers and meteorologists attempt to explain the green sky by tying it to the sunset. Some researchers say that blue light from water molecules in a storm cloud hits the red light caused by the setting sun and results in the possibility for the sky to appear green, the Argus Leader reported.

“Light underneath a tall thundercloud appears blue due to the scattering by water droplets,” Accuweather Meteorologist Isaac Longley explained. “When the blue light is illuminated by the red light from the setting sun, it appears green, which is why some thunderstorms have that greenish hue to it.”