Sahara sand storm: Here’s why your car might have been covered in a layer of dust this morning

If you’ve noticed this on your car blame the Saharan dust storm (Picture: Getty Images)

You might have noticed that the UK is in the midst of one of the hottest spells of the year – with the temperature topping the 30C mark for the best part of a week.

While we might be experiencing an Indian summer after a decidedly mixed couple of months of weather, many people have noticed another weather phenomenon sweeping the country, after discovering cars and other objects covered in a layer of dust this morning.

You might also have noticed some stunning sunsets and sunrises – but just what has brought all this on?

Here’s what’s been going on…

Why were cars covered in dust this morning?

You might have found dust on your car or other vehicle this morning on account of the Saharan sandstorm which is sweeping the UK.

The storm is a mixture of dust and sand from the Sahara in North Africa – and it’s not uncommon for it to reach these shores.

When big dust storms in that part of the world coincide with southerly wind patterns it’s fairly common for them to make their way here, covering everything in a layer of dust as it comes down to earth.

The dust can also be brought to earth by showers, creating a phenomenon known as ‘blood rain’ due to its reddish colour when it lands on the ground or objects.

Explaining the phenomenon, the Met Office said: ‘Saharan dust is a mixture of sand and dust from the Sahara, the vast desert area that covers most of North Africa.

‘As in other parts of the world, the wind can blow strongly over deserts – whipping up dust and sand high into the sky.

The dust has also contributed to some stunning sunsets across the UK (Picture: PA)

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

The dust can also cause some stunning sunrises and sunsets – as happened in early 2021 when red skies were seen over large parts of the UK.

However, there’s a downside to all this too – as dust can pose a risk to those with asthma and other lung conditions.

A satellite image shows dust blowing across the UK (Picture: SWNS)

Dr Andy Whittamore, clinical lead at the charity Asthma + Lung UK, said: ‘Saharan dust could pose a serious risk to people living with a lung condition, such as asthma.

Speaking to The Sun, he suggested those as risk stay indoors where possible while the dust level is high, adding: ‘If you have a preventer or maintenance inhaler, you should take it every day as prescribed, even when well.

‘You should also keep your reliever or rescue inhaler with you in case of emergencies, so you can use it quickly if your symptoms get worse.’

MORE : Is this the end of our short, sharp summer? Met Office gives verdict with yellow weather warning

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