Uk weather forecast news: Met Office warnings as Saharan dust bomb sees red ‘blood rain’ COVER cars amid ORANGE skies

SAHARAN SKIES

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  • 3:01, 17 Mar 2022
  • Updated: 3:01, 17 Mar 2022

THE SKY today turned orange as a Saharan dust bomb hit Europe – with the Met Office predicting it may cause “blood rain”.

With parts of London already seeing orange skies, the Met Office said the dust cloud, which is 2km above ground level, may fall during showers in southern parts of the country in the afternoon.

Known as Storm Celia, Met Office forecasters say the impact is “unlikely” to be significant, with the dust potentially most visible at sunset.

An urgent warning has also been issued to millions as dust particles in the air could trigger deadly health emergencies for Brits, after the murky skies swept over Europe.

Read our weather live blog for the latest news and forecasts…

  • Rules for cyclists looking to enjoy the sunshine this Spring

    With the weather set to warm up in the coming weeks, cyclists are ready to get out on their bikes and make the most of the sunshine. 

    Bobbin Bikes encourage cyclists to make themselves fully aware of what they can and can’t do on the roads.

    Road rules for cyclists to stay safe this spring:

    • Hand signals – Using hand signals is important for cyclists to communicate their intent to motorists behind them.
    • Clothing – Cyclists should always wear a protective helmet that conforms to current regulations, is the correct size, and is securely fastened. Light coloured, fluorescent clothing is best to wear whilst cycling in winter or darker days, and reflective clothing and accessories should be worn in the dark.
    • Lights – All cycles must have front, and rear lights lit up at night. All bikes must also be fitted with red rear reflectors.
    • Cycle lanes – Dedicated cycle lanes are marked by a white line, which may be solid or broken. Cyclists must stick to cycle lanes when able to.
    • Parking – Bicycles must not be left in any place that can cause obstruction or hazard to other road users. 
  • Some rain tday for the west of NI, Highlands, the Western Isles and the Northern Isles

    Meteorologist Alex Deakin has brought us the latest weather news for the rest of the day today, reminding us it isn’t sunshine everywhere.

    Deakin said there’s a possibility the temperature could get as high as 16C in parts of eastern England today.

    He made clear Glasgow and Belfast are likely to experience some showers in the late afternoon leading into the evening, before hitting Edinburgh.

    Deakin confirmed Wednesday is looking very cloudy for much of the UK.

  • Possible heatwave reaching 28C as early as April

    While temperatures are often expected to be mild in April, it’s a month more synonymous with rain.

    This year though, according meteorologist, Jim Dale, suggests Brits may experience temperatures at hot as 28C – temperatures typically reserved for the middle of Summer.

    Last year’s April barely reached 15C, meanwhile our lockdown April was notoriously scorching.

    According to the Met Office, it was the fifth hottest April in the UK since records began in 1929.

  • What’s the weather forecast for next week?

    With this week looking so lovely for most areas of the UK, we look ahead for much of the same.

    Though we’ll likely experience light patches of mist and fog in the early hours of Saturday, it should pass to allow sunshine for the rest of the day throughout most of the UK.

    A breeze is possible in most coastal areas, and rain is expected across the northeast.

    Though temperatures are expected to be mild to very mild in most areas, there is a chance of overnight frost and fog, throughout the week.

  • Mother’s Day weather set to remain dry and sunny

    Mother’s Day falls on 27th March this year and doesn’t look like it’ll disappoint.

    After Brits took advantage of the mild weather this weekend, we look ahead to more warmth and sunshine.

    If you’re looking to enjoy outdoor activities for Mother’s Day, you’ll be in luck as the weather appears to be staying pleasant for the foreseeable future.

  • Thanks for reading

    Joe Gamp here, signing off from our live UK weather coverage.

    We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our rolling news blog today.

    My colleague Milica Cosic returns at 6am.

  • In pictures: Saharan dust cloud turns skies orange over Canary Wharf, London

    Canary Wharf was visible through orange hues today.

    The colour was caused by a dust cloud from the Sahara regions, which hung 2km above ground level across Europe.

    Hot air in the Sahara desert led to dust being dumped across the Mediterranean and now parts of the UK.

    NINTCHDBPICT000719328693

    NINTCHDBPICT000719328693Credit: Alamy
  • 5 day flood forecast

    Local flooding is possible but not expected from rivers and surface water.

    Land, roads and some properties may flood and there may be travel disruption.

    There are around 3,500 measuring stations and most are along main rivers and the coast.

    Find a river, sea, groundwater or rainfall level here.

  • Brits’ photos from today’s Saharan dust sky

  • UK shorelines should expect wet and windy weather

    Though most of us will enjoy sunny weather and mild temperatures, it’s not quite the same for our shores.

    Strong winds are expected across most coasts, bring with it lots of rain.

    The next two days will bring showers to the northeast and gales are likely along with lighter winds at times.

  • Why was the sky orange today?

    Hot air in the Sahara desert has lead to dust being dumped across the Mediterranean and now parts of the UK.

    It comes as parts of southern Spain have been blanketed following a thick plume which has turned skies orange.

    Paris was among the cities in France affected by dust, leaving the city’s 18th arrondissement “covered with a fine layer of orange residue”.

  • No air-quality warnings in force today, says Met Office

    UK forecasts predicted the dust would most likely be mostly visible at sunset, although particles have already began to pour from the sky.

    Met Office meteorologist Richard Miles told the PA News Agency: “Storm Celia over Spain is indeed pulling a dust cloud up from the Sahara, which could potentially reach as far as the south of the UK.

    “However, we don’t expect significant impacts – the most likely would be on the cloudscapes at sunset but, as conditions are likely to be generally overcast and wet for much of the day, this is unlikely to amount to much.

    “There are no air-quality warnings,” he said.

    “People in the south might find a bit of dust left on their cars as the rain washes it out of the skies today.”

  • Clear skies for many this evening

    The MEt Office says the band of rain and wind is pushing away.

    It will leave skies clear overnight- but means temperatures will feel even more chilly.

    The warnings come as the weather is predicted to heat up from tomorrow, with highs of around 16C/17C expected.

  • Why is the sky yellow and the sun red?

    According to the Met Office, sunsets are often red or orange because they are lower in the sky, therefore sunlight must travel through a thicker layer of the atmosphere before it is scattered, deflected, and seen by the human eye.

    This means there is more yellow and red left to see.

    In the case of Storm Celia, strong winds carried dust over to Spain from the Sahara desert, causing reduced visibility and orange tones in the sky.

    Red dust can have an adverse impact on health, leading to respiratory and cardiac issues if inhaled – and can be especially harmful to people with asthma.

  • How did Hurricane Ophelia cause the sky to turn yellow?

    Back in October 2017, the sky in Britain similarly turned yellow and the sun turned red as a result of  Hurricane Ophelia.

    The deadly storm killed three people when it pulled Saharan dust up to the UK, creating a blanket of orange cloud with its deadly 80mph winds

    Hurricane Ophelia created an eerie glow, red sun, and left a thick layer of dust behind it.

    The storm led to fears of an apocalypse, and widespread health concerns for those with breathing difficulties and the elderly.

    At the time, Met Office forecaster Grahame Madge said: “It’s all connected with Ophelia, on the eastern side of the low pressure system air is coming up in the southern direction.

    “Air is being pulled from southern Europe and Africa and that air contains a lot of dust.

    “So it’s most likely the appearance of sunset at midday is caused by the particles scattering the light and giving the appearance of a red sun.”

    In the UK, up to 120,000 homes were without power, schools were closed, and bridges were shut as a result of falling trees and debris caused by Hurricane Ophelia.

  • Weather outlook for Friday to Sunday

    Showers in the far north clear early Friday.

    Some night frost and fog elsewhere, but then all areas dry and increasingly sunny.

    Perhaps cloudier with a few showers Sunday.

  • Met Office promises plenty of spring sunshine this weekend

    It may be a damp and wet day for many across the UK, but things will look a lot brighter on the weekend.

    The Met Office tweeted: “Looking ahead to the weekend?

    “There will be plenty of warm spring sunshine, especially on Saturday.”

  • ‘No significant impacts from Storm Celia dust cloud’ says Met Office

    Met Office meteorologist Richard Miles told the PA News Agency: “Storm Celia over Spain is indeed pulling a dust cloud up from the Sahara, which could potentially reach as far as the south of the UK.

    “However, we don’t expect significant impacts – the most likely would be on the cloudscapes at sunset but, as conditions are likely to be generally overcast and wet for much of the day, this is unlikely to amount to much.

    “There are no air-quality warnings,” he said.

    “People in the south might find a bit of dust left on their cars as the rain washes it out of the skies today.”

  • Why Thunderstorms can trigger asthma attacks

    Asthma UK said there are two reasons that thunderstorms can trigger asthma attacks.

    They explained: “The air before a storm can feel very humid and close. Some people tell us this gives them a tight chest and a cough, and that they find it harder to breathe.

    “During pollen season, the windy conditions during a thunderstorm blow lots of pollen high into the air.

    “The moisture higher up in the air breaks the pollen into much smaller pieces.

    “As these smaller pieces of pollen particles then settle back down, they can be breathed in, irritating the smaller airways of the lungs”, they added.

  • In pictures: Saharan dust cloud turns sky orange

    Brits have shared extraordinary images of their cars and homes being covered in the rusty Saharan dust in the South East of England.

    Southern Spain and France have already been tinted with the coral coating after the dust was dragged up from the African continent.

    It has been propelled across by gusty gales brought about by Storm Celia and showers are set to expel it from the skies today.

    Although forecasters predict the impact is unlikely to be significant, vulnerable Brits have been warned to remain vigilant.

  • Wettest day of the week for many says Met Office

    The Met Office says today is the wettest day of the week.

    However, a springtime burst of sunshine is set to bring highs of around 16C-17C from tomorrow across the country.

    The weather agency tweeted: “It’s the wettest day of the week with rain for many, heaviest in the southeast.

    “Northern Ireland and western Scotland will have the best of the sunshine this afternoon, albeit with a few showers.”

    It’s the wettest day of the week with rain for many, heaviest in the southeast. Northern Ireland and western Scotland will have the best of the sunshine this afternoon, albeit with a few showers pic.twitter.com/lmr34M76ua

    — Met Office (@metoffice) March 16, 2022

  • Thank you for reading my coverage this morning.

    My colleague Joe Gamp is now logging on and will be bringing you the latest until 10pm tonight.

  • ‘Blood rain’ later this evening

    THE SKY has turned orange as a Sahara dust bomb hit Europe today – and may cause “blood rain”.

    With parts of London already seeing orange skies, the Met Office has said the dust cloud, which is 2km above ground level, may fall during showers in southern parts of the country in the afternoon.

    Known as Storm Celia, Met Office forecasters say the impact is “unlikely” to be significant, with the dust potentially most visible at sunset.

  • Explained: Why is the sky orange today?

    Hot air in the Sahara desert has lead to dust being dumped across the Mediterranean and now parts of the UK.

    It comes as parts of southern Spain have been blanketed following a thick plume which has turned skies orange.

    Paris was among the cities in France affected by dust, leaving the city’s 18th arrondissement “covered with a fine layer of orange residue”.

  • Tonight’s weather

    Rain across England will slowly clear from the west during the evening but will be locally heavy and persistent.

    Overnight will be mostly dry with long clear spells however patches of mist will form, mostly in the north and west.

    Spells of rain will edge into the far north-west by dawn.

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