Saharan Dust UK: Why was my car covered in red dust this morning in Portsmouth, Gosport, Fareham, Havant, Waterlooville, Southampton and the Isle of Wight and what is Saharan dust?

IF YOU live in the Portsmouth area, you may have noticed a layer of red dust on your car this morning.

Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 10:59 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 3:52 pm

The layer of red dust has covered vehicles across the city, with the sky painted an orange hue this morning.

A dust storm turned the skies in Spain red yesterday as the particles began to venture over to the UK. In Spain there have been reports that some people have had difficulty breathing, the dust has been so thick.

Read More

Read More
Homes For Ukraine UK: What is the government scheme and how can people in Portsm...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

But what is Saharan dust and why has it covered your car in red dust this morning?

Here's everything you need to know:

What is Saharan dust?

The cause of the dirt on your windscreens this morning is a result of a weather phenomenon known as Saharan dust.

This photograph taken on March 15, 2022 shows the powerplant of French company EDF in Lavau-sur-Loire, western France, under a yellow ochre sky caused by Saharan dust. Picture: Loic Venance AFP via Getty Images)

The cloud, which transformed Spanish skies yesterday, formed when dust from the Sahara Desert was launched into the sky by Storm Celia.

The cloud has since moved over to parts of France and Spain.

The orange hue and hot air were at their strongest over Murcia and Madrid as Spanish officials warned the public to wear face masks when outside.

According to the Met Office, Saharan dust is a mixture of sand and dust from the Sahara, the vast desert area that covers most of North Africa.

Wind can blow strongly over deserts, forcing dust and sand into the sky.

If the winds in the upper part of the atmosphere are blowing north, the dust can be carried as far as the UK.

In order to clear the dust from the sky, it needs to be washed out via rainfall.

When raindrops land on something and eventually evaporate, they leave behind a layer of dust.

How often does Saharan dust come over to the UK?

Saharan dust is fairly common in the UK and often occurs several times a year.

This is due to the big dust storms in the Sahara colliding with Southerly wind patterns

In certain weather circumstances, Saharan dust can also affect air pollution and pollution levels.

For all the latest news, traffic and travel, what’s on, Pompey, sport and breaking stories visit The News’s website.

We will be bringing you all of the latest stories from across Portsmouth and surrounding area throughout the day.

If there is a story you think we should know about, you can contact us via our email [email protected] or via our social media channels – Facebook or Twitter.

Do not contact us while you are driving. To stay up to date with all the latest Portsmouth news follow us on Twitter @portsmouthnews or like our Facebook page.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Subscribe here for unlimited access to all our coverage, including Pompey, for just 26p a day.