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Saharan dust creates spectacular red sunrises and sunsets over West Berkshire

Met Office says it is caused by low pressure and southerly winds

Geraldine Gardner

Geraldine Gardner


01635 886684

Saharan desert sands create spectacular red sunrises and sunsets over West Berkshire

Sunrise over Greenham Picture: Phil Cannings

The recent rise in temperatures has meant that an area of low pressure "feeding" winds from the Canaries has brought Saharan dust to the UK, leading to brightly coloured sunrises and sunsets, and could also lead to the possibility of a small layer of red dust settling on cars.

If you have taken pictures of the sunrise or sunset this week send them to and we'll create a gallery.

The Met Office tweeted at the weekend: “Low pressure to our NW is feeding S'ly winds into the UK from the Canaries, allowing #Saharandust to be drawn N too.

The Met Office website explains how the Saharan sands gets to the UK:

"As in other parts of the world, the wind can blow strongly over deserts - whipping up dust and sand high 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.

"Once it is lifted from the ground by strong winds, clouds of dust can reach very high altitudes and be transported worldwide, covering thousands of miles.

In order for the dust to get from up in the sky down to the ground, you need something to wash it out of the sky - rain.  As raindrops fall, they collect particles of dust on the way down. Then when the raindrops land on something and eventually evaporate, they leave behind a layer of dust."

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