A blazing red sky after the sun set last night (Thursday 21 May) brought photographers out across the islands to capture exceptional views of the sky.

The unusual and spectacular sight was created by coincidental timing between sunset after a changeable day and the appearance of a rare cloud formation known as lacunosus clouds.

A spokesman for Western Isles Weather said the approaching storm which we are seeing today contributed to the atmospheric conditions.

Formed when a layer of rising warm air meets a layer of cold air, the lacunosus cloud variety is rare because it’s very short-lived, usually lasting only a few minutes. Those who took pictures had to act quickly to get a snap before the phenomenon faded and lost colour as darkness fell.

Pictures are by Seatrek at Cliff Beach, Uig; Emily Dillon at Garrabost, Point; Sine Nicolson, Broadbay; Kenny Mackay, Newton marina from Stornoway Coastguard operations centre; Annie Tempest, Rodel, Isle of Harris (Mr Puffin is a gatepost model) and Rosan Proctor, Leurbost Lochs.