Dust particles from Sahara expected over Europe’s skies again this weekend

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Dust and sand particles whipped up from the Sahara will once again blanket skies over Europe this weekend, impacting air quality, the European Union’s Copernicus satellite monitoring service said on Friday.

It said wind predictions showed a “substantial plume” of Saharan dust would hit southern Europe over the weekend into next week, reaching as far north as Norway.

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Mark Parrington, senior scientist at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, said that like a similar event earlier in February, the dust would likely be visible to the naked eye in the skies across Europe.

“Dust plumes from the desert can cause red skies, limited visibility or stains on cars and windows from dust deposition, but these impacts are difficult to predict quantitatively as far as four or five days in advance,” he said.

Parrington said it was likely that the “high concentrations” of dust would affect air quality and could have some health impacts.

A previous dust cloud in early February darkened the skies in many regions of western Europe, carrying particulate concentrations “several hundred times” more than normal, Copernicus said.

Read more: Next 2020 weather crisis: Massive Sahara dust cloud heads toward US after Caribbean

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