Rain and wind to dust France with Saharan desert sand

The annual phenomenon has been especially noticeable this year, with more Saharan sand set to arrive today carried by wind and rain

21 February 2021
Orange skies over the Pyrenees. Rain and wind to dust France with Saharan sand todaySand from the Sahara has turned the sky orange in recent days and weeks
By Hannah Thompson

Parts of France will be covered in Saharan sand today as intense rain and wind full of grains from the desert is forecast, especially in the south.

The departments of Aude and Pyrénées-Orientales will be especially affected, forecasters have said.

Wind and rain full of grains of sand from the Sahara will cause a covering of orange dust, with car owners especially advised to avoid washing their cars until the weather has passed.

Rain and wind containing sand particles will last all day in the Mediterranean region, reaching to the Massif Central and southwest.

Wind gusts are set to reach 70-90 kph, and as much as 100-110 kph on the coast in the Var.

The seasonal “vent d’autan” wind will also be felt in the Pyrenees and the south of the Massif Central.

Snow is also expected in the Pyrenees above 2,000m at the end of the day.

The annual Sahara sand phenomenon has been especially noticeable this year, with skies turning orange in Lyon and Grenoble, and snow appearing to have a sand-tinged hue in mountain resorts in recent weeks.

Scientists in Toulouse and Grenoble have even called for samples of snow containing the sand to help them study the phenomenon further.


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