D.He had orange cars, dusty tunnel corridors, a stuffy and yellow horizon: a thin layer of sand from the Sahara fell before rising towards France, in a good part of Madrid and Spain at night from Monday to Tuesday.
A frequent occurrence in southern Europe
Crossing the Pyrenees, on Tuesday, the dust mainly crossed western France, where the event was particularly evident, for example in Bordeaux or La Roselle, according to Meteo France, before heading north. The French Meteorological Agency said it would last until Thursday, though it would disappear. An event is not an exception, but is “quite significant by its geographical size and duration of a few days”.
This meteorological phenomenon is a strong hot wind loaded with sand dust from the Sahara Desert, called “Kalima” in Spain. It is most common, especially in the Canary Islands, located in northwest Africa.
The Spanish National Weather Service (Aemet) explained in a video posted on Twitter that storms in the Sahara Desert create wind on the surface of the earth, which raises particles of sand and dust. Aemet describes a sharp drop, due to the temperature difference between the smallest particles in the air, the hot air at altitude and the cooling floor. The wind then carried these particles towards the Iberian Peninsula, concluding that the company did not exclude “mud rain” in Spain.
Air quality in the affected areas was poor on Tuesday morning: stations located in the cities of Madrid or Segovia or Avila (center) were measuring “very unfavorable” air quality.
What about France and Belgium?
In France, the event is set to last until Thursday, as Météo’s French correspondent Marine Jeoffrion explained that the sand was “blocked by an anticyclone over Greece”. It affects “a good part of the country” even though “the impact is less in the south”.
According to the Royal Meteorological Agency (IRM) of Belgium, the dust cloud should reach our country by Wednesday. “CAMS (Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service) monitors dust and sand in the atmosphere. According to their models, the dust cloud will mainly reach our area tomorrow.
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