More Sahara dust underway

Sahara dust

Car owners beware: The western part of Europe may get another load of dust from the Sahara in the coming weekend. According to Copernicus, the European body that constantly monitors weather and climate, a large dust cloud is currently hanging over the Atlantic Ocean. When the wind changes, this cloud might pass over western Europe on Friday and Saturday, scientists expect.

Copernicus is seeing relatively large amounts of dust blowing from the African desert over the Mediterranean and other parts of Europe this year. Germany, Denmark, Belgium and The Netherlands also experienced the phenomenon in March and April. The dust particles can give the air an orange glow and cover cars with a thin brown layer.

In the days after the dust cloud cleared, Local car washes became very busy. Especially in March, several washing records were broken. There even were reports of riots at car washes where waiting times exploded.

Airway irritations

Sahara dust can also have an impact on air quality. This is especially true in countries such as Spain, which regularly get the full brunt of the storm. According to Copernicus’ forecast, Spain will once again receive the greatest amount of dust. Fine dust particles can cause respiratory irritation.

The dust clouds from the Sahara also have an effect on the temperature. Sunlight is blocked by the particles and this can make a few degrees difference alone.
There are more effects on the climate, weathermen explain. For example, the dust clouds can affect the so-called jet stream. This is “the belt of westerly winds that winds around the earth like a meandering river between 30 and 60 degrees north and south latitude”. Locally, this can temporarily lead to significant temperature differences.

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Author: Rene Passet

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