UK weather – Saharan dust cloud to bring RED skies over Britain today as sand sweeps across country from Africa

SAHARAN dust clouds will bring red skies over Britain today, as sand from North Africa sweeps in.

Meteorologists warned that orange sediment could settle on cars or windows in the East and South East after it rains this afternoon.

On March 16, Saharan dust clouds turned the London skyline orange and left a rust-covered film on carsCredit: Alamy

Less than a month ago on March 16, similar dust clouds turned the London skyline orange and left a rust-covered film on cars.

The sand, which is expected again today, fell in “blood rain”. This is rain that appears red from the high concentration of Saharan dust, which has been whipped up by strong winds and carried for thousands of miles. The dust is mixed into the atmosphere, absorbed by the clouds, and eventually falls as rain.

Today, rain is expected until 10pm over patches of the South East, so Brits could witness this rusty rainfall this evening. 

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has warned the South East of moderate air pollution today, but these levels will lower from tomorrow until Friday.

Eastern areas of England, however, should be aware there is a higher risk of pollution by Saturday, with pockets of pollution in some areas by the sea.

Likewise, hayfever sufferers should be warned – there will be high pollen levels in England and Wales at times this week. Trees, such as elm, ash and birch, are producing the most pollen at the moment.

Fortunately, the bank holiday weekend is set to be a scorcher after the heavy rainfall today. Brits will be able to enjoy temperatures of 22C over Easter, particularly in the South East. The weekend heat will be a record high for 2022, as the warmest temperature of the year so far has been 20.8C

Met Office meteorologist Annie Shuttleworth said: “If people are travelling for sunshine, then further eastern areas are more likely to see that brighter weather.

“I think in the main for the bank holiday weekend, we’ll see temperatures quite widely above average across the UK and hopefully they could be very warm in the South East in particular.

“Warmer than average certainly, but nowhere near heatwave criteria. It will definitely be warmer than the week we’ve just had and last week.”

She added: “We’ll see temperatures generally come up through the week. From Thursday onwards, temperatures could reach 20, 21, quite possibly 22.

“Across southern and eastern areas we’re more likely to see some sunshine and clearer skies in the afternoon.”


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