Desert Dust Cloud: A sandstorm covers part of Spain in orange

Madrid (AFP) – Cars covered in orange dust, subway lanes with sand and the sky painted red: A great cloud of dust flew from the desert last night over Madrid and most of Spain.

A row of cars covered in sand in MadridEduardo Parra – European press

People can be seen cleaning their cars or balconies or building gates with hoses in the heart of the Spanish capital, where This fine dust has transformed the landscape.

In the subway and parking lots the floors were dusty and brown spots appeared on the windows on the upper floors of the buildings.

Madrid wrapped in sandstorm
Madrid wrapped in sandstormCarlos Logan – Europe Press

This meteorological phenomenon, represented by strong hot winds laden with sand dust from the Sahara Desert, in Spain is called fog. It is very common, especially in the Atlantic archipelago of the Canary Islands, located in northwest Africa.

Puerta del Sol, in the center of Madrid
Puerta del Sol, in the center of MadridManu Fernandez – AFP

The current situation is “an unusual episode of fog with a very significant decrease in visibility over large areas of the peninsula,” Rubén del Campo, a spokesperson for the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet), detailed in a letter to reporters, affecting “ Cities are as far away as Granada (south), Madrid (central) and Leon (northwest).”

The Alhambra in Granada
The Alhambra in GranadaCarlos Gil – Getty Images Europe

It will be continuous, because “the dust is expected to continue to arrive in large quantities during the remainder of Tuesday the 15th and during Wednesday the 16th” and on a large scale: “In the next few hours it will reach areas far from the Sahara.” Like the Netherlands and Germany, Del Campo said. .

A rural area in southeastern Spain
A rural area in southeastern SpainJavier Carrion – Europe Press

Emmett explained, in a video on Twitter, that storms in the Sahara desert create gusts of wind on the Earth’s surface, which raise sand and dust particles.

Dust cloud in Valencia
Dust cloud in ValenciaJorge Gil – Europe Press

The smallest particles are suspended in the air thanks to the difference in temperatures between the rising air and the cooling ground, while the heaviest falls, according to the foundation.

Sand covered sidewalks in Madrid
Sand covered sidewalks in MadridCarlos Logan – Europe Press

The wind then transports the particles to the Iberian Peninsula, where it is not excluded that there will be “mud rain” over Spain, if the fog converges with rainfall, Aemet warned.

Tourists in Grenada
Tourists in GrenadaCarlos Gil – Getty Images Europe

Authorities said air quality was “extremely unfavorable” on Tuesday morning in Madrid, Segovia or Avila in the center of the country.

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AP, AFP, Getty Images

Photo Editing: Fernanda Korpani

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