Spain sees hazy skies as Sahara dust storm blows in
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Many areas of Spain have been covered with an orange haze this week. Experts expect it to last the rest of the week.
The strange weather has coloured the Spanish skies orange and is known as a ‘calima’ in Spanish.
It is caused by dust and sand particles which have been carried on the wind from Africa by Storm Celia.
The dust is currently suspended in the air and has hit much of Spain including the capital city, Madrid.
Popular tourist areas such as Alicante and Murcia have also been affected by the calima.
According to the index of the Ministry for Ecological Transition the air quality in Spain is “extremely unfavourable”.
The Climatological Observatory of the University of Alicante said that Spain currently has the worst air quality on the planet.
Health experts have advised tourists and residents to avoid physical activities and sports indoors and outdoors.
This is particularly important for people who suffer from respiratory problems.
If people need to go outside, they are advised to wear a face mask, which should be an FFP2 one.
Authorities have also asked people to avoid driving on main roads to reduce emissions that will further impact air quality.
The haze will be accompanied by rainfall in areas such as Andalucia, Murcia and Alicante on Wednesday.
This will bring ‘muddy rain’ , a thick and dirty rain, which can make cars dusty and get in people’s hair.
The Canary Islands have also experienced strong winds, rain and a drop in temperature in the past few days.
There has also been snow in several areas of the islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and La Palma.
The State Meteorological Centre has said that normal weather will return in the next few days as the storm stops.
On March 16, experts said that Storm Celia had started to ease off in the Canaries although weather warnings for wind and dangerous sea conditions remain in place.
In Almeria, there are reports that a large number of people have had medical treatment due to breathing difficulties.
A teaching union in Andalucia has appealed to authorities to close schools due to the risk of catching Covid as the windows have to be closed for the calima.
Jesús Riesco, director of the Aemet Met Office in Malaga, said: “The calima we are experiencing today is historic.
“It is very unusual to see such a high concentration of dust in suspension and I can’t remember it ever being this intense before.”
British tourists in Spain should follow the advice of local authorities.
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