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In the hours before the storm hit Tokyo, locals found themselves looking upwards to discover bright purple skies.
#TyphoonHagibis turned the skies purple. Be safe friends in Japan. pic.twitter.com/iUiYRz2k9O
- blake (@BlakeMist) October 11, 2019
Bracing themselves for the country's worst storm in 60 years, many knew the incredible sight was also an ominous one - as it often precedes a major storm.
The beautiful skyscapes are a result of 'scattering', a natural phenomenon that often foreshadows the devastation to come.
Scattering occurs when heavy rains rid the atmosphere of larger particles, leaving smaller particles that scatter the light in all directions.
Speaking in the wake of Hurricane Michael in 2018, meteorologist Lauren Rautenkranz explained the science behind it in a short video, saying: "As sunlight shines down to Earth, most of the colours of the spectrum are able to reach the surface uninterrupted.
"But the shorter wavelengths, blue and violet, are scattered in every direction. This light bounces from particle to particle until it eventually reaches your eyes. But the sky doesn't appear violet and blue because of our eyes' limitations."
Normally our eyes can only detect blue because violet is the shortest wavelength in the colour spectrum.
Explaining about the conditions surrounding Hurricane Michael, Rautenkrantz added: "This combination allowed our eyes to see (the sky's) true colours, since violet is there to begin with, we just don't usually get to see it.
"The light was scattered around the moisture in the air, causing the magical purple colour."
While reports of the current death toll from Typhoon Hagibis vary, Kyodo News has said 35 people have died and a further 17 are missing. Public broadcaster NHK, meanwhile, put the death toll at 30 with 15 missing.
The storm also prompted many high profile events - including Rugby World Cup matches - to be cancelled.
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued the highest alert level for 12 regions, with agency official Yasushi Kajihara saying: "Be ready for rainfall of the kind that you have never experienced.
"Damage from floods and landslides is likely taking place already.
"It is critical that people take action urgently to protect their lives and the lives of loved ones."
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