Yesterday, March 15, Madrid woke up to an orange fog of dust that covered the horizon. The landscapes may have looked beautiful to some, yet others might be left wondering: where is this mysterious mist from? Will it have any long-term consequences?
This significant haze arrives from the Sahara Desert in North Africa, and will remain for the next few days. The phenomenon occurs due to air currents. It is not new in Spain, yet the country has not experienced such density in the last couple of years.
What we see are dry particles, invisible to the eye but dense enough to make the sky look opaque, according to AEMET (Spanish State Agency of Meteorology)’s MeteoGlossary. In the following days, the AEMET forecasts haze, mud showers, and a worsening of air quality. Other sources predict this to go as far as Paris.
Madrid is not the only autonomous community in Spain to endure this red Saharan dust. In fact, the southern region of the Iberian peninsula and Balearic Islands experienced it yesterday.
Regarding health, these particles may affect the respiratory system, with smaller particles potentially reaching the pulmonary alveolus. Not to mention the increase of overall pollution in the city. Precautionary measures for this include: wearing your mask outdoors, sunglasses, and avoiding the outdoors if possible.
Featured image by: Bloomberg.