Saharan red dust deposited on cars across the United Kingdom
The desert grains were transported from North Africa by southerly winds
Motorists across the country woke up to a little piece of Africa on Monday morning, when they found their cars coated with a thin layer of Saharan dust.
An unusual weather pattern transported the red grains thousands of miles from North Africa to Britain.
Drivers across the South East, Cornwall and Devon, and Northern Ireland reported finding the dust, which is dropped from the atmosphere when it rains, on their vehicles.
On Twitter, user @morvenscott said: “Just been out on a driving lesson and all the cars in south London are coated in dust from the Sahara!”
And @morganjd25 tweeted: “My car was washed on Saturday afternoon and this morning it was covered in Sahara dust.”
Emma Sharples, from the Met office, told the Exeter Express and Echo that a combination of elements had created the right conditions for the sand to travel to the UK.
“A sandstorm in the Saharan region, the wind from the south/south-east, and the right sort of rain,” she said.
“You need a light rain, not too much – just enough to bring it down and then when it dries out it leaves that residue on cars.
“It’s probably because the rain is not that heavy that it does not get brought down and washed off straight away.
“Of course it isn’t dangerous. The most it’s going to be is an inconvenience to people who have it on their clean cars.”
The Sahara Desert, in North Africa, is the world’s hottest desert and the third largest after Antarctica and the Arctic. It covers over 3,500,000 square miles (9,000,000 square kilometres), or around 10 per cent of the continent.
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Chief Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone has contracted the deadly disease himself
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£110 - £130 per day + Pay between ?110 - ?130 Day: Randstad Education Cardiff:...
£480 per day + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Deployment Manager-Ta...
£50000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Urgently seeking a Dynam...
£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Banking, Financial Reporting, ...