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04th Mar 2021

Rare “Sahara dust” weather event expected to hit Ireland this week

“I’m afraid we could see some Saharan dust blowing up over us this week.”

A very rare event is going to happen here in Ireland this week. Experts warn a “Saharan” dust is on its way to Europe and will land in Ireland this week.

Alan O’Reilly from Carlow Weather spoke about the event over on Twitter this week, saying: “Did you wash the windows at the weekend? Well I’m afraid we could see some Saharan dust blowing up over us this week.”

Alan also shared a map from the Dust Forecast Centre predicting some “Saharan dust”. The dust is reported to have started in Northeastern Chad.

NASA’s Earth Observatory explained: “Each year more than 180 million tons of dust blow out from North Africa, lofted out of the Sahara Desert by strong seasonal winds.”

“Perhaps most familiar are the huge, showy plumes that advance across the tropical Atlantic Ocean toward the Americas,” they wen ton. “But the dust goes elsewhere, too—settling back down in other parts of Africa or drifting north toward Europe. A dramatic display of airborne dust particles was observed on February 18, 2021, by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the NOAA-20 spacecraft.

“The dust appears widespread, but particularly stirred up over the Bodélé Depression in northeastern Chad.”

The weather for this next week will be mixed with rain and sun around the country. Meanwhile conditions will stay mixed for the remainder of this week as occasional showers are joined by some sunny spells in places.

Met Éireann said: “Mainly dry tonight with just a few clear spells and a chance of some isolated patchy rain or drizzle in places. A slight frost will develop under clear skies along with pockets of mist or fog. Lowest temperatures of 0 to 4 degrees Celsius in light northeasterly or variable breezes.”

“A cool cloudy day tomorrow with just a few sunny spells. Generally dry, with just a few isolated light showers developing. Highest temperatures of 5 to 9 degrees Celsius in light to moderate easterly breezes.”