Weather quirk sees Saharan dust cover cars in Havering

09:39 01 April 2014

Southerly winds have caused the phenomenon, which according to the Met Office happens a few times a year. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Southerly winds have caused the phenomenon, which according to the Met Office happens a few times a year. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

2014 Getty Images

Did you wake up to a dirty car yesterday morning? Don’t blame next door’s builders; it’s very likely your motor was covered in fine dust from the Sahara.

Incredibly, particles of sand from the African desert were whipped into the sky, blown over the continent, and deposited on much of the UK when it rained on Sunday evening, including in Havering.

Maggie Adams said on the Recorder’s Facebook: “My car was filthy this morning and I washed it yesterday - wondered where it come from.”

Joanne Daniels quipped: “That’s about as close to the desert as I’m ever going to get!”

Others may have some apologising to do.

Lisa Lowe said: “Oh, I blamed my neighbour and his building work.”

Southerly winds caused the phenomenon, which according to the Met Office happens a few times a year.

A spokesman for the forecasters confirmed the dust, which is most easily observed on shiny surfaces as a thin film or muddy blotches, would be seen in London.

“This is something that happens a fair few times a year.

“We see dust from the Sahara whipped up by stormy winds, carried by the clouds and dropped when it rains.”

BBC weather presenter Tomasz Schafernaker (@Shafernaker) joked: “Today in london there’s SO much #sahara #dust that travel by #camel is simply a must!”


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