Saharan storm coats Bedfordshire cars in dust

HAVE you noticed a layer of dust on your car in the past couple of days?

Friday, 29th June 2012, 5:06 pm

Well it hasn’t been caused by that building work your neighbour’s having done.

Weather experts say a large dust storm, 2,000 miles away in the Sahara, is to blame for the mess.

According to the Met Office blog website, http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/ the storm swept up sand into the atmosphere, where it then spread towards the Atlantic before getting caught up in southerly winds, which took it north over Spain and then up to the UK.

The dust would then have been caught up in rain droplets in clouds and then fallen to the ground, leaving behind the film of dust when the water evaporated.

Paul Hutcheon, deputy chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: “We usually see this happen several times a year, particularly in summer when you get these big dust storms in the western Sahara and the southerly winds to bring that dust here.

“This event was a very well-marked example, as you can clearly see the dust as it moves from the Sahara to the UK in the satellite imagery.”

To see the satellite images visit the Met Office blog.