Blood rain could hit UK as Saharan dust bomb turns skies orange

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A huge desert storm from the Sahara has reached the UK, turning the sky orange and bringing the potential for 'blood rain'.

The so-called 'dust bomb' travelled 1,500 miles over to the British Isles this morning from Algeria and Morocco, and is currently 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) up in the sky.

Now, a weather expert has revealed that the sweeping sand storm could result in some surprising 'blood rain' falling later in the day.

This rare weather phenomenon occurs when dust is combined with rain droplets as they form in the atmosphere.

Dr Claire Ryder from the University of Reading, told The Mirror: "The plume is forecast to reach southern England during the early hours of Wednesday, covering areas from Dorset to Suffolk, with the southeast counties, particularly Kent, being the worst affected.

“The main plume is forecast to remain over the continent with only the weaker edges grazing southern England. Dust amounts will likely be significantly lower over England compared to extremely dusty conditions currently being experienced over Spain and France."

She also said that people in southern parts of the UK can expect to find surfaces such as car windscreens and windows getting "dusty and red", with air quality also being slightly lower than usual to the increased presence of dust particles in the air.

The sand has been driven up to Britain by Storm Celia, which was named by the Spanish Meteorological Agency.

Richard Miles from the Met Office has however played down the effects of the sand storm, telling the PA news agency that the "most likely" impact would be cloudscapes at sunset, and said no air quality warnings had been issued

He also predicted that cool and overcast conditions would offset the possible impacts of dust in the air.

Dramatic scenes from Spain earlier in the day saw visibility severely reduced in towns and cities, with one witness reporting that it was "literally raining mud" as she travelled in her car.

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  • UK Weather
  • Met Office

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