DORSET appears to have escaped unscathed as the tail end of Hurricane Ophelia blows into Britain – but residents were treated to an unusual sight in the sky this morning.

The sun turned into a small, bright, red ball shining through a blanket of yellow cloud yesterday as ex-Hurricane Ophelia drew Saharan dust north to the UK, making the sun appear red.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

Picture by Jennie Fowler taken at Pirates Cove, Wyke Regis

The Met Office said Ophelia had also picked up dust and debris from forest fires in Spain and Portugal.

The result was an eerie sight as the sky glowed an unusual sepia colour in the morning making people wonder what was happening.

The unusual sight saw thousands of people take to social media to post pictures of the rare phenomenon.

There were also reports of ‘unusual smells’ in the area which are also thought to be due to the ex-hurricane.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

Picture of the sky above Dorchester cemetery by Sian George

A red sky appears when dust and small particles are trapped in the atmosphere by high pressure. This scatters blue light and leaving only red light to give the sky its notable appearance.

The ex-hurricane brought unseasonably high temperatures with temperatures in Dorset reaching as high as 18 degrees.

As Ophelia hit the UK, flood warnings were issued for Portland and west Dorset.

Environment Agency and Dorset Highways staff were monitoring Portland Beach Road and Preston Road around high tide this evening, and warned they may have to close the routes if there was a danger of water and debris coming over.

People were warned to take care in high winds, stay away from exposed coastal areas and follow any instructions from the emergency services.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency also issued a warning to people in the region as Ophelia approached.

The warning read: “Remember that playing chicken and wave dodging is just not worth risking your life for.

“We cannot stress enough that piers, rocks, harbours and the water’s edge are not safe places to be when the weather is bad.

“It can be slippery and because there is little to hold onto even a small wave can come out of nowhere and quickly wash you under or over the rails and swiftly out to sea.

“No selfie or photograph is worth risking your life for.”

Tuesday will start dry and bright with light winds, and there will be outbreaks of rain through the afternoon.

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