Met Office explains the reason so many Brits’ cars were covered in dust
The Met Office has explained why so many cars in Britain were covered in dust this morning.
Hundreds of drivers in Wales and Manchester woke up to find their cars covered in a thin layer of dust.
After hundreds of people posted about the mysterious finding on social media, the Met Office explained it had been caused by Saharan dust brought down by rain.
They reassured the public that the dust would move away early next week.
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Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Met Office spokesperson Stephen Dixon said: “Saharan dust has been in the atmosphere around the UK in recent days.
“For Manchester, some of this has been rained out in early morning showers, which gives this ‘dirty’ look that some people will have noticed on their car this morning.
“The levels of Saharan dust will be lower in concentration over the coming days, before moving away early next week.”
Another Met Office spokesperson explained how the dust can travel from North Africa to the UK.
They told WalesOnline: “As in other parts of the world, the wind can blow strongly over deserts – whipping up dust and sand high into the sky.
“If the winds in the upper part of the atmosphere are blowing north, the dust can be carried as far as the UK.
“Once it is lifted from the ground by strong winds, clouds of dust can reach very high altitudes and be transported worldwide, covering thousands of miles.
“In order for the dust to get from up in the sky down to the ground, you need something to wash it out of the sky – rain.”
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They added: “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.”
The Met Office statements came after drivers from across the UK tweeted their bemusement on Thursday morning.
One person wrote: “Was the rain last night dirty? My car and others look like they’ve been doused with coffee water this morning.”
Another person said: “Anyone else’s car absolutely filthy this morning or just mine? Did we have dirty rain or what?”
The Saharan dust arrives as the UK experiences a mini-heatwave. The Met Office has predicted Saturday could be the hottest day of the year.
Temperatures are expected to rise above 30C in London and the Southeast.
The Met Office has issued an amber heat warning which is in place until 9pm on Sunday.
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