Cairns sunsets have been truly remarkable over recent days. Here's why...
While Cyclone Debbie gave central Queensland a battering this week, Cairns has been reeling in unusually hot and humid conditions.
But while we've been gasping in steamy temperatures 5C above average, there has been one aspect of the weather that has been breathtaking in a good way: the sky at sunset.
Recent sunset shots sent in by TropicNow readers show the evening sky lit in an unusually dramatic palette of dazzling colours.
But why the stunning sky-show, and why now?
BoM meteorologist Andrew Mostyn said cirrus clouds and westerly winds stirred up by ex-Cyclone Debbie were responsible for the stunning sunsets.
Cirrus clouds are wispy, high-altitude clouds which often form as a result of cyclones. The word ‘cirrus’ means ‘a curling lock of hair’.
“The westerly winds have stirred up a lot of dust and particles, which can cause colourful sunsets,” Mr Mostyn told TropicNow.
“We’ve had high-level cirrus clouds coming out of the cyclone down south.
“The clouds are about 30,000 to 40,000 feet high at the moment, and once the sun drops under them, the light refracts and reflects to give a halo effect.”
Beauty like this has a price, however: the same westerly winds responsible for the glorious sunsets have also brought – and will continue to bring – unseasonably high temperatures to TNQ.
After a sweltering night – the lowest temperature recorded was 26.4C at 4am – we can expect little relief today, with a predicted high of 34C. Tomorrow is set to sizzle at 35C.
The average high for March is 30C.
Mr Mostyn said southeasterly winds would cool the region down when they blow in on the weekend.