Recently, a severe storm system hit southern Europe, and the sky was clouded by Saharan dust. This caused beautiful orange skies, bad air quality, and a thick layer of muck that rose from the ground. There was a storm system called Celia by the Spanish government’s weather agency AEMET, and it was given that name.
Conditions that could be dangerous
Besides that, the air in Spain got terrible on Wednesday. According to the Spanish national air quality index, some parts of Spain had terrible air quality. High air particles can be dangerous for people who have asthma or are older. People who have asthma and older people are especially at risk. As Celia grows, meteorologists say that the dust will be a big problem for air quality as far north as London. To keep dust particles from getting into your body, you should stay inside and wear a face mask.
It turned the sky in Spain and Portugal red on Wednesday, making it look like a scene from Mars. Images and videos of the storm were quickly shared by people in the area who went to the internet. If you looked very closely at some cars and buildings, you could see dust several millimeters deep. This made the whole scene look orange.
Clouds of dust also made the sky darker. They blocked out different colors of light. Even the ski slopes in the mountains turned orange because of the dust from the Sahara that had accumulated on top of the snow and snowflakes. It was closed because of strong winds caused by Celia. A video of the ski slopes covered in bright orange snow was posted by people who live in the same area.
A sandstorm is coming from the Sahara Desert.
What caused this dust storm? On Tuesday, storm Celia came from the Atlantic and blew dust from Northern Africa into the United States. In Algeria and Morocco, solid southerly winds caused a dust storm to form. This storm was then carried across the Mediterranean by the wind. AEMET says that this Calima windstorm happens a lot in the springtime in Spain and Portugal. But Storm Celia, which caused a lot of dust and strong winds, is unusual and very rare for this time of year. As the situation unfolds, it’s not clear whether the dust storm caused by Storm Celia is the strongest ever measured. That will change as the situation unfolds.
Flooding rains from Celia came together with a dust storm in the southern part of Spain. Some cities were hit by a downpour of mud, making the roads and cars dirty. Residents as far north as Paris saw mud globs fall from the sky in the early morning hours of Wednesday. People in southern Spain called the mud “blood rain” because it was red.
Storm Celia’s next move:
The most potent dust clouds are expected to stay over Spain and France until Thursday. It should start to clear up a little on Thursday and Friday when Celia’s grip on Spain starts to slip. Later, the bad air quality and dusty sky are expected to spread north, but not as far as around the Mediterranean coast. The severity will be less than around the Mediterranean coast. As long as it’s above 1 1/4 miles high, a lot of dust will be carried by air (2 km). During some of the most significant Saharan dust storms, tiny dust particles can stay in the air for up to three weeks.
People in Spain and other European countries have seen the sky turn orange because Storm Celia has blown up Saharan dust from Algeria to Spain and other European countries. There is a lot of dust in the air, and the ground is covered in it.