Saharan dust: Rain and heatwave leave cars and windows with coating as sand blows across UK
Satellite images show Sahara sand blowing across Europe and landing in the UK on the hottest day of the year so far.
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Sand and dust from the Sahara has blown across the UK this week, leaving vehicles and windows with a coating of grime, especially where the September heatwave has been punctuated by rainfall
The snapshot below shows observations of the phenomenon on Wednesday (September 6) - which was the hottest day of the year in the UK so far.
The images were made possible by NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS).
In Manchester, residents reported waking up on Thursday morning to find their cars were filthier than usual,
Saharan dust and sand has blown all the way to the UK from North Africa.
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. If the winds in the upper part of the atmosphere are blowing north, the dust can be carried as far as the UK.”
A late summer heatwave is gripping the UK, with an amber-level health warning from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) lodged for most of England until Sunday (September 10).
Brits are being urged to prioritise their health, especially the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, to avoid putting the NHS at risk. It is expected temperatures will start to drop off next week, although the Met Office predicts they will stay “higher than average” for this time of year over the next few weeks.