Sahara sand to blame for dirty surprise on Sunday
Tuesday, 1 April 2014
THOUSANDS of motorists across Newry and Mourne were left scratching their heads on Sunday morning when they awoke to find their cars covered in a blanket of dirt.
And the reason behind the strange phenomenon lies over 2,500 miles away!
Many cars across the east of Ireland were covered in a fine, reddish dust overnight - and it turns out the alien invasion came all the way from the Sahara desert in northern Africa.
On Saturday night there were strong winds over north Africa, which led to sand being displaced and following up a path through parts of Europe, including the east coast of Ireland.
However, this isn't the first time it has happened as tropical air from north Africa often follows a wind path towards Ireland but usually the dust is rained out by the time it reaches Ireland, which is why many people were taken by surprise on Sunday morning.
Local weatherman Kieran Meaney, who has over 4,000 followers online for his daily weather updates, described Saturday night's events as a rare phenomenon - and warned motorists not to rush out and clean their car as more of the dust is expected later this week.
“Basically the wind carried dust from the western side of the Sahara desert, right up to the south of England and then over to Ireland," he said.
“My car was covered in dust on Sunday morning and I had an idea of what happened because something similar happened a few years ago, although I couldn't believe it came all the way from the Sahara desert.
“It really is a rare phenomenon - and I would advise motorists not to rush out and get their cars cleaned just yet as we could be getting more of the same throughout the week."
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