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Why Does the Sky Turn Green Before a Tornado (Or Hail)?

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You’ve probably heard the saying a million times by now: the sky glows green because there is hail in the storm. Or you’ve also possibly heard a green sky means a tornado is coming.

Which of these two statements (if either) is actually true?

Would it surprise you to know that both of these tall tales about weather are actually false on some level?

There is no real scientific evidence that show that light reflecting off of hailstones turns green, nor is there evidence that a green sky means a tornado is coming. In fact, there is no direct link from a green sky to either of these phenomena occuring.

Its possible a green sky could signify a tornado or hail is coming — but it’s not a 100% predictor of either ever taking place.

From a pure anecdotal perspective, we’ve seen hundreds of storms with hail and tornadoes and there have been more than a few instances of a non-green storm producing tornadoes and hail as well as green storms producing neither!

So what’s the real reason for why a storm turns green?

Colors are simply the manifestation of light hitting surfaces all around us. Light underneath and within a storm is typically pretty blue, and as you get later in the day — the color temperature of light tends to become more red from the sun. When a blue object, a storm in this case, is illuminated with a more red or orange light from the sun, it’ll appear teal or green.

So the actual reason why a storm turns green has very little to do with what a storm is doing and more to do with pure old fashioned light.

Watch the video to learn more: