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'Dust rain' carrying Saharan desert deposits to Wales

The Sahara Desert Photo: ITV

Some of us woke up to find red-colour dust deposits on our cars this morning. This is actually Saharan dust.

The recently established southerly airflow has carried the dust particles all the way from the deserts of North Africa.

A large amount of sand and dust was swept up by storm winds in the desert, around 2000 miles away in northwest Africa. The airborne particles were blown north to the UK where they combined with our warm air and were deposited during showers.

Paul Hutcheon at the Met Office said “We usually see this happen several times a year when big dust storms in the Sahara coincide with southerly winds to bring that dust here. More dust rain is possible during showers expected later this week.”

Saharan dust is lifted by strong winds and can reach very high altitudes; from there it can be transported worldwide by winds, covering distances of thousands of kilometers. The dust gets caught in rain droplets in clouds, falling to the ground in rain. When the water evaporates, a thin layer of dust is left on surfaces, like cars. It can also lead to vivid sunsets.

Generally winds of more than 20 miles per hour are needed to lift sand at the Saharan Desert has been experiencing some gale force winds (over 40 miles per hour).

More dust rain is possible in the next 24 hours.

Have you seen any 'dust rain'? Tweet us your pictures @ITVWales and @carledwardsitv

The dust, shown in pink within the red circle, is carried within clouds, shown in red, to the UK, where it falls within rain showers. Credit: Met Office

Aside from a day of dust there are some heavy showers on the cards in the next few hours

Heavy and at times, thundery, rain spreading north this evening, clearing the north Wales coast during the early hours. Becoming dry and misty with patchy fog and ground frost developing. Minimum temperature 2 °C.

Mist and fog patches clearing leaving a mostly dry day on Tuesday with some sunny periods developing. Isolated heavy showers possibly developing through the afternoon. Feeling warm in light and variable winds. Maximum temperature 18 °C.