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Dublin: 1 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020
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Ireland could be covered* in sand overnight

*A light dusting, at least.

dusty-car-2 A car covered in sand from the last time the sand fell on Ireland. Source: Barbara Scully via TWitter

YOU MIGHT WAKE up tomorrow to notice your car is looking a little dirty.

Dust from the Sahara desert has drifted up in Ireland’s direction, and now could fall to the ground.

Met Éireann’s Joan Blackburn explained that it is possible we will see a light dusting overnight.

She told TheJournal.ie that the dust itself is held high in the atmosphere, and will only fall to the ground if it rains.

Some showers are expected this evening as rain moves in, so it’s quite likely Ireland will experience the phenomenon, sometimes called ‘blood rain’.

PastedImage-43405 The sand hovering over Ireland earlier today. Source: http://forecast.uoa.gr/

Over in England, the dust is expected to mix with pollution causing a dangerous smog in some areas, but this shouldn’t an issue on this side of the Irish Sea, Blackburn said.

An automatic alert about any changes to air quality will be tweeted from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Twitter account.

The Telegraph reports that Spain witnessed this phenomenon on Wednesday as the band of dust moved up the continent.

Here in Europe, the sand causes little more than a mild inconvenience. For the Amazon basin, it serves a much more important purpose. As one study notes:

About 40 million tons of dust are transported annually from the Sahara to the Amazon basin. Saharan dust has been proposed to be the main mineral source that fertilizes the Amazon basin, generating a dependence of the health and productivity of the rain forest on dust supply from the Sahara.

If you notice this reddish dust in the morning, send a photo to tips@thejournal.ie.

Read: Lots of people woke up to find their car covered in sand this morning >

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Nicky Ryan

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