Breathtaking skies captured across Wales as wave of Saharan dust settles in the air

A Port Talbot sunset looking out to the Steelworks. Credit: Steven van Hemmen / @SVH00318868

As Saharan dust settled in the atmosphere over the weekend, spectacular skies were captured by many people across Wales.

Red, pink and orange were just some of the colours seen in the air, with some parts even witnessing full rainbows.

The light show came following what was the hottest day of the year so far for some places, hitting highs of around 26°C.

Beautiful pink skies on Sunday evening in Pontypridd. Credit: Sheena Parry-Davies / @davies_parry

What is Saharan dust?

Saharan dust is a mixture of sand and dust from the Sahara, the vast desert area that covers most of North Africa.

A red sky sunset at the front of one home in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan. Credit: Alan Rees Thomas / @WalesRees

How does it get to the UK?

According to the Met Office, with the help of strong winds, sand and dust can be blown into the sky and travel thousands of miles worldwide. If the winds in the upper part of the atmosphere are blowing north, the dust can be carried as far as the UK.

In order for the dust to get from up in the sky down to the ground, you need rain to wash it out of the sky. As raindrops fall, they collect particles of dust on the way down. Then, when the raindrops land on something and eventually evaporate, they leave behind a layer of dust.

Saharan dust is relatively common in the UK often happening several times a year when big dust storms in the Sahara coincide with southerly wind patterns. In certain weather situations, Saharan dust can also affect air pollution and pollution levels.

After a wet day in the capital, a pink sunset emerged near the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Credit: Becca Falvey / @BecFalvey
A full rainbow captured during a purple sunset in Pontypridd. Credit: Sheena Parry-Davies / @davies_parry
More pink skies in the capital to match the blooming flowers.
Orange skies at 9pm in the evening in Leckwith, Cardiff. Credit: Gavin Thomas / @gkt wales
Saharan dust settles over the skies of Cardiff.

A row of terraced houses under stunning skies in Cardiff.
Pastel skies contrasting with plants in Cwmdare, Rhondda Cynon Taf. Credit: Kirsty / @Kirsti_86