Saharan Dust UK: Why was my car covered in red dust in Sussex this morning and what is Saharan dust?

If you live in the Sussex, you may have noticed a layer of red dust on your car this morning.

The layer of red dust has covered vehicles across the county, with the sky painted an orange hue this morning.

A dust storm turned the skies in Spain red yesterday as the particles began to venture over to the UK.

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But what is Saharan dust and why has it covered your car in red dust this morning?

A car in Spain covered in Sahara Dust

Here's everything you need to know:

What is Saharan dust?

The cause of the dirt on your windscreens this morning is a result of a weather phenomenon known as Saharan dust.

The cloud, which transformed Spanish skies yesterday, formed when dust from the Sahara Desert was launched into the sky by Storm Celia.

The cloud has since moved over to parts of France and Spain.

The orange hue and hot air were at their strongest over Murcia and Madrid as Spanish officials warned the public to wear face masks when outside.

According to the Met Office, Saharan dust is a mixture of sand and dust from the Sahara, the vast desert area that covers most of North Africa.

Wind can blow strongly over deserts, forcing dust and sand 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.

In order to clear the dust from the sky, it needs to be washed out via rainfall.

When raindrops land on something and eventually evaporate, they leave behind a layer of dust.

How often does Saharan dust come over to the UK?

Saharan dust is fairly common in the UK and often occurs several times a year.

This is due to the big dust storms in the Sahara colliding with Southerly wind patterns

In certain weather circumstances, Saharan dust can also affect air pollution and pollution levels.

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