Tayside and Central Scotland

'Artificial' clouds captured at sunset in Forth Valley

Cloud Image copyright Lee Martin

Pink and orange clouds appeared in the sky above Falkirk on Thursday evening.

The anthropogenic, or artificial, clouds were captured in photographs taken around Forth Valley by BBC Scotland News website readers and BBC WeatherWatchers.

The clouds are believed to have come from the Ineos petrochemical plant in Grangemouth.

A spokesman for Ineos said "the clouds of water vapour most likely emanated from our cooling towers".

Image copyright Seán Kerr
Image caption Seán Kerr captured the clouds at the Falkirk Wheel
Image copyright Kenny Farrell
Image caption Kenny Farrell used his drone to capture the clouds from around 400ft up
Image copyright Angelene Perry
Image caption Angelene Perry said the clouds were "awesome... it looks like the apocalypse!"
Image copyright Slamduncan
Image caption Duncan took this pic from Salmannan

Analysis by Kawser Quamer, BBC Scotland Weather

These are 'artificial' or anthropogenic cumulus clouds, so called as they are induced by human activity.

You can tell this is the case by how low the base of the cloud is and that this formation was only spotted locally above Grangemouth.

The likely cause is the heat from the cooling towers of the petrochemical works here. This heat rises creating instability in the air, forcing the production of these low level cumulus clouds.

And you can thank the timing for the spectacular fiery red colours, as the particles in these clouds appear to be perfectly catching and reflecting the sunset.


Image copyright Thundermonkey
Image caption Another picture of the clouds taken from Falkirk, sent in by a BBC WeatherWatcher
Image copyright RennieGCShoreFalkirk
Image caption This image was captured in Falkirk
Image copyright Jack Minnock
Image copyright Isobel Gorton
Image caption Isobel said: "The oil refinery isn't always the most picturesque place but tonight the setting sun caught some clouds it had made and I thought it made for a very striking sunset."
Image copyright Steve14335
Image caption The clouds as seen from Polmont by BBC WeatherWatcher Steve
Image copyright Rhona Mckay
Image copyright Ian Collins
Image copyright Lorraine Annand
Image copyright Hugh Currie
Image caption As seen from Airth, Falkirk by Hugh Currie

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