Intense Saharan dust sandstorm hits Spain for the second time


A huge Saharan dust storm has swept across Spain for the second time. Residents in Costa del Sol woke up to eerie skies with an orange hue caused by tiny particles of dust that had travelled thousands of miles across the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday.

Amber weather warnings are in place in Malaga as the red dust – accompanied by heavy rainfall and strong winds – continues to cause poor visibility for drivers.


The sandstorm has caused several cancellations and flight delays at Malaga Airport.

The dust cloud blanketed streets and houses in southern regions and turned skies orange last week.

Air quality in areas including the capital, Madrid, and cities Malaga and Seville was rated as “extremely unfavourable” – the worst rating by the national air quality index.

People were encouraged to wear face masks and to avoid outdoor exercise.

Last Wednesday, the clouds hit the UK after being driven north by strong winds from Storm Celia.

People were seen wiping orange layers off their cars in Brighton, with orange clouds also spotted in London and elsewhere in the southeast.


Waitresses clean the tables and chairs at a bar terrace after a storm blew sand from the Sahara desert over Andalusia, Ronda.

Met Office meteorologist Dan Stroud explained the colours were caused by Rayleigh scattering from additional particles in the air.

“The dust in the atmosphere causes the light to be more refracted, so you get the dominance of the red and orange tinges of the spectrum,” he said.

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