Europe to experience another Sahara dust cloud next weekend
Western Europe may receive another load of dust from the Sahara Desert next weekend. A large dust cloud is currently hanging over the Atlantic Ocean, according to Copernicus, the European body that monitors weather and climate. The plume will pass over Western Europe on Friday and Saturday, scientists predicted.
Researchers at Copernicus noticed relatively large amounts of dust blowing from the African desert over the Mediterranean and other parts of Europe earlier this year. The Netherlands dealt with the phenomenon in March and April. The dust particles can give the air an orange glow, and cover cars in a thin brown layer.
Sahara dust can also affect air quality and cause respiratory irritation. This is especially the case in countries such as Spain, which regularly gets the full brunt of such an occurrence. According to the Copernicus models, Spain will once again experience the largest amount of dust.
The dust clouds from the Sahara also have an effect on the temperature. The particles block sunlight, which can make a difference of a few degrees. The clouds will bring more climate consequences, the Dutch meteorological institute, KNMI, explained.
One example is how dust clouds can influence the jet stream, "the belt of westerly winds that wind around the earth like a meandering river between latitudes 30 and 60 degrees north and south." Locally, this can temporarily lead to significant temperature differences.
Reporting by ANP