Image of the orange sky in Palma on Wednesday afternoon. | MDB Digital

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The orange sky in Mallorca captivated social media on Wednesday afternoon. By around 7 pm, the atmosphere had darkened and turned brown, eventually becoming a warm hue that resulted in a shower of mud. But what caused this unusual sky color? This phenomenon is known as calima or suspended dust.

This event occurs when the wind carries orange sand from North Africa. Large quantities of sand and dust are transported from dry, barren soil into the atmosphere and can travel thousands of kilometers. The duration of this process varies from a few hours to several days, depending on the strength of the wind and the weight of the particles.

According to an image shared by Copernicus, the European Union's Earth observation and monitoring program, the cloud of suspended dust moved over Mallorca on Wednesday and began to retreat on Thursday.

As a result, rain again deposited mud on Palma. Spring concluded with a sky covered in suspended dust, and the rainfall left streets, terraces, and cars coated with a thin layer of mud. Despite forecasts, many internet users were surprised and took the opportunity to capture and share images of the sky on social networks.

Even with the rainfall, temperatures remained high on Thursday night. The State Meteorological Agency reported on its X account (formerly Twitter) that the island experienced a tropical night, with minimum temperatures of 23 degrees Celsius in areas such as Palma and Pollensa.

Thursday, June 20, marked the beginning of summer with somewhat unstable weather. Cloudy skies are expected, with a low chance of light rainfall accompanied by mud, clearing slightly in the afternoon. Dust in suspension is anticipated again. Temperatures are similar to Wednesday or slightly lower. The wind was light, blowing from the west and southwest with occasional breezes.