Forget the reds under the bed – Dubliners awoke to a red dust all over their cars on Sunday and there’s more to come, all the way from Africa.
The strange dust has been identified as red sand from the Sahara, transported to Ireland courtesy of exceptionally strong African winds.
The super strong winds caused the sand to be displaced from the Sahara Desert.
It is now following a path up through parts of Europe and the displacement is set to continue for the rest of the week, according to Ireland’s official weather service Met Eireann.
The Irish Independent is also reporting that the red dust will lead to a boom for Dublin’s car wash business after motorists awoke to find a fine layer of reddish-brown dust coating their paintwork.
The paper reports that winds blowing from the south and south-east are expected to bring more dust in coming days with dust storms in North Africa responsible.
Met Eireann forecaster Harm Luijkx told the paper, “These fine particles are dust and soil rather than sand. Sand is too heavy to be carried this far by the wind.
“Met Eireann has received calls about the phenomenon from around the country. It is possible more dust will come.”
The sandstorms may alter Ireland’s sunsets according to the paper, which reports that Africa’s orange and red sunsets are often the result of dust in the atmosphere.
Luijkx added that Ireland’s sunsets are usually quite clear as the winds normally come from across the Atlantic where there is no air pollution.
He said, “Sometimes, with winds from the east or south-east, Irish skies have some haziness because of air-borne pollution from Britain or the Continent.
“When pressure is high, those particles of pollution can build up to increase the haziness, but high pressure is not an issue at present in Ireland.”