Sunset And Foehn Effect

October 31, 2018 was a day with an unforgettable sunset in many places. On the eve of the Halloween night the sky was burning. Bright yellow and red colored clouds illuminated the sky. The extraordinary evening glow is a typical phenomenon in autumn.

In Upper Bavaria the foehn effect delivered the perfect conditions for the fire in the sky. The Northern side of the alps was very lucky since there were normal weather conditions during that evening in a year full of extremes. These extremes still continue. The foehn effect was generated by the torrential rainfall on the Southern side of the mountains. Subsequently, wet air was rising on one side and descending on the other side.

Shortly before sunset: The Sun illuminates the cloud layer

Before that Halloween evening there were also severe weather on the Northern side of the alps in Bavaria. There was an extreme windstorm which inter-cut railway connections in Upper Bavaria. Foehn windstorms can be dangerous particular on the mountain tops and some valleys.

Typical Foehn sky: a very clear view of the mountains

During the day the weather had calmed down and there were these impressing cloud patterns in the sky. The good thing was that the clouds got stopped and had not moved too much to the south. Therefore the sun appeared shortly before sunset.

These conditions happen often in autumn and also around New Year in Bavaria. This is always a good time to take pictures.

Intense orange and yellow colors in the west

The hilltops in Upper Bavaria are a good place to watch the foehn effect. The sky is very clear and there are a lot of details visible of the alpine silhuette in the South. However, days are already short and it gets pretty fast very dark.

Unlike some so-called-weather-rules the evening glow doesn’t necessarily indicate a change of weather. The next days were calm on the Northern side of the Alps.

nature as an artist: shortly after sunset

Severe weather continues in many parts of Europe. Particularly in Italy a disastrous situation due to thunderstorms and torrential rain developed. In some higher areas there was a lot of snowfall. Tourists were trapped for some time.

October 2018 was another month in Germany where the weather-anomaly continued. It is still too dry and too warm. Sunshine was above average. A new term was coined in Germany: October-Summer.

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The dramatic “Halloween Sky”

Berlin, August 1, 2017: Spectacular Evening Sky

On August 1 again a hot air mass met a cold air mass over Germany. Subsequently, there was an air mass limit. Air mass limits are often the reason for severe weather events like extreme thunderstorms with tornados and flooding or downbursts.

(A good definition what an air mass is could be found at the UK met office:

Severe storms were expected, the weather service also issued a warning for Berlin. In the afternoon and evening, a line of thunderstorms appeared. There was severe weather in Brandenburg and many other areas. However in Berlin after a short time of rain, the turbulent sky opened a bit and a red evening sun was illuminating the dramatically structured clouds.

Many people stopped and took pictures of the unusual weather situation. Of course, evening-glow happens a lot but this dramatic sky was extraordinary. One reason for this impressive sky is that if you have a weather situation with thunderstorms close or developing there is a chaos in the atmosphere. There are several levels in the lower and higher atmosphere with different clouds and there is a lot of circulation.


The impressive scenery lasted till it became dark. There was only a little wind and it was still very warm in the city during the night. Some sheet-lighting could be seen later but the bigger storms happened more in the South.

It was a relief after two severe storms with extraordinary flooding hit the city two times before.

But summer 2017 is very unpredictable in Europe. Two days later a very strong cell did damage in the South of Berlin and later in August Austria suffered from storms with heavy rain followed by mud-slides.

On the south-side of the Alps in Italy there are still heat-waves. As mentioned before these weather-patterns fit in the scenarios developed by scientists about effects of climate change.


There is a good-viewpoint between railway station “Gesundbrunnen” in Berlin and the well-known Bornholmer Straße. The pictures below were taken from a small bridge named “Schwedter Steig”. I had seen that bridge a couple of times when using the train. Its always useful particularly if you want to do weather-pictures to have an inventory of good view-points before, since if an interesting weather pattern occurs there is no time to search for a good place with a lot of open skies to take pictures or videos.