Saharan dust cloud from Algeria turns London skies red

Saharan dust cloud from Algeria turns London skies red
2 min read
16 March, 2022
A Saharan dust cloud that formed in Algeria has arrived in the UK and set to offer stunning red and orange sunset in the country.
The Saharan dust cloud formed in Algerian deserts [Getty]

A Saharan dust cloud that formed in Algeria and swept across Europe has arrived in the UK turning London skies red and sparking excitement in the capital. 

The dust cloud "arrived over the last 24 hours" and is "mostly 2km above ground level", according to the British Meteorological Office, who say the phenomenon will make skies in the UK "a little bit murky".

The cloud is made from a mixture of sand and dust from the Sahara Desert - which covers most of North Africa. Such masses typically arrive in the UK several times a year, particularly if dust storms in the Sahara "coincide with southerly wind patterns".

"There's an area of low pressure currently sat over Spain named storm Celia and it caused a wind... which has drawn Sahara dust up from the Algeria area," a spokesperson from the Met told The New Arab.

The cloud is not expected to last long and is being washed by rains across eastern areas of England.

"When the dust gets washed out people will notice it on their cars and windows... for most people it's just going to result in a red and orange tinge to the sunset and sunrise," the spokesperson said.

However, in extreme cases Saharan dust can have a negative effect on the eyes and throat, reducing air quality and affecting air pollution levels. The Met confirmed it will likely be not the case with this latest incident.

Many across London were confused by the sky's unusual colour.

Others reported seeing orange dust after rainfall throughout the day.