SAHARAN dust moving across Europe hit the county turning skies orange and red, forecasters said.
It comes ahead of what is expected to be the hottest day of the year so far on Saturday, with temperatures expected to hit 18C in parts of the UK.
The dust cloud, located around 2km above the ground, hit Sussex, Kent and London on Wednesday afternoon.
The overall impact is “unlikely” to be significant, but people in affected areas may see a “red or orange tint” in the sky, forecasters said.
Met Office meteorologist Dan Stroud explained that the colors were caused by Rayleigh scattering from extra particles in the air.
“Dust in the atmosphere causes more refraction of light, so you get the dominance of the red and orange hues of the spectrum,” he said.
It comes in the form of a plume, named Storm Celia in other countries, sweeping across Europe from the Sahara Desert, covering parts of southern Spain and France.
Mr Stroud said dust would likely be lifted from the air by an area of cloud and rain pushing east across the West Country on Wednesday evening.
But high pressure forming behind the wet weather over the weekend should see parts of southern England benefit from a warm spring on Saturday.
“We are likely to see very pleasant spring sunshine, particularly for the London and South East region, during the day on Saturday,” Mr Stroud said.
“We’re looking at temperatures up to 16, 17 and maybe even a rounded 18C could be possible.”
The Met Office said the hottest temperature it had recorded so far in 2022 was 17.2C in Pershore, Worcestershire, meaning Saturday could become the hottest day ever. ‘year to date.
The rain in England will start to clear up later on Wednesday as many areas turn cold, with scattered frost and some rural fog, the Met Office said.
Thursday is expected to be sunnier for most of England and Wales, with wind and showers in the south-east.
Showers, frost and fog are expected to continue to hit parts of the UK until Friday.
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This notice was published: 2022-03-17 07:36:30