Suffolk: Is your car coated in a layer of dust? We explain why
17:11 01 April 2014
Does your car look like it has been caught in a sandstorm? It has.
Southerly winds have blown particles of sand from the African desert to Suffolk. Yesterday’s light rain brought the fine particles down from the sky, and left cars caked in tell tale spots and streaks.
But don’t wash it off yet, as more is on the way, say weather experts.
The dust has also triggered smog alerts and health warnings in London, where even Prime Minister David Cameron’s car was covered.
Paul Hutcheon at the Met Office said “We usually see this happen several times a year when big dust storms in the Sahara coincide with southerly winds to bring that dust here.
“More dust rain is possible during showers expected later this week.”
Saharan dust is lifted by strong winds and can reach very high altitudes, from there it can be transported worldwide by the wind.
The dust gets caught in rain droplets in clouds, falling to the ground in so-called ‘dirty rain’. When the water evaporates, a thin layer of dust is left on surfaces, like cars.
But there’s some good news for those living on the coast. Saharan dust can also trigger intensely spectacular sunsets.