The sky in Japan turned purple yesterday hours before the wrath of Super Typhoon Hagibis. A beautiful scene, indeed. But beneath it lies a big catastrophe.

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This Typhoon is said to the worst storm in over 60 years and before that, Japan residents are posting scary images of purple skies online. The purple skies are said to be an indication of a typhoon or hurricane about to hit the place.

Authorities have urged the people of central Japan to evacuate their homes as soon as possible on Saturday. The Typhoon is said to be of a category five hurricane of an approximate size of 1,400 km in diameter. It is predicted that the wind gusts would be over 240km/h. It also estimated that the worst affected area would be the main island of Honshu. The Typhoon is named Hagibis because it translated to “speed” in Tagalog.

What Does Purple Sky Mean?

Skies turning purple may seem extremely scary and make, people believing in superstitions, think that the skies are trying to indicate something ominous. It is not entirely wrong, and the skies do try to suggest something dangerous such as a typhoon or a hurricane. However, there is scientific backing to it. The skies turned deep violet in colour because of a weather phenomenon called “scattering”. When the molecules and small particles in the atmosphere influence the direction of the light, it causes light to scatter and present a purple colour view.

Why did the sky turn purple?

Residents took to social media to share pictures of the sky on Saturday as the storm approached, which had turned a deep violet colour. Some speculated it was an omen, promising the destruction to come. But a purple sky is actually a phenomenon which often precedes or follows a major typhoon or hurricane.

Purple skies are the result of a weather phenomenon called ‘scattering’. Scattering which happens when the molecules and small particles in the atmosphere influence the direction of the light, causing the light to scatter.

Heavy storms and rain tend to wash away larger particles which absorb more light and scatter wavelengths more evenly, resulting in muted hues out of the air, making the true colours of the sky more vivid.

While the vivid violet hue provided a beautiful and dramatic backdrop, it masked the promise of devastation to come.

Hagibis is expected to be the strongest storm to hit the region this century, with fears building it could match the fury of the 1958 Kanogawa Typhoon which killed more than 1,200 people when it hit Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture.

With the worst-hit areas of the Honshu Island are set to be flooded by close to three feet of rain in a 24-hour period.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued emergency warnings of flooding, mudslides and storm surge as high as 42 feet along the coast. Tokyo is predicted to see two feet of downpour.