Major amounts of Saharan dust are being pushed from north Africa across the Mediterranean into Europe. Large parts of Europe will be receiving significant amounts of Saharan dust in the next 48 hours, going as far north as Iceland! We take a closer look.

As the cutoff low that has persisted over the western Mediterranean rapidly moves northeast and fills, it pushes a wave of thick Saharan dust with it, reaching far into central, eastern and southeastern Europe. Meanwhile, a new long wave trough pushes from the Atlantic into the Iberian peninsula, forming a new big cutoff upper low. This system will push a new wave of Saharan dust into the western Mediterranean towards central Europe.

Tuesday, April 23rd

Particularly thick clouds of Saharan dust will be pushing across the Balearic Islands and NE Spain into France, Switzerland, Germany, BeNeLux and in particular the UK and Ireland. Thick Saharan dust will persist across the UK and Ireland for the entire day. Meanwhile, dust will also be pushing northeast and east across Italy and much of central and southeastern Europe, as far as southern Poland, western Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria and western Turkey.

Expect very thick Saharan dust across the central Mediterranean region, including Malta, Albania and Greece, into western Turkey, reaching as far east as Cyprus by late in the day!

Meanwhile, Saharan dust will push far north into the Norwegian sea, reaching Iceland and even further north by the end of the day!

Wednesday, April 24th

On Wednesday, the dust cloud over the UK and Ireland will slowly push northwards, with the sky clearing by the end of the day. Further north, the dust will push over Iceland: considerable dust loads will be present, so be alert for dusty skies even there. By the end of the day the dust cloud will reach Greenland.

Dust will also push across central, eastern and southeastern Europe. Areas as far north as southern Norway, southern Sweden and the Baltic states will be reached by some Saharan dust. Meanwhile the largest dust loads will push across the central and eastern Mediterranean and eastern Europe: Greece, Cyprus, western and central Turkey and into Bulgaria, Romania and western Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the new cutoff low will push a new wave of dust across the western Mediterranean into central Europe, affecting the Balearic Islands, Corsica, Sardinia, Italy and into Switzerland, Austria, parts of Germany and BeNeLux.

Be on the lookout for dusty skies. In many areas, Saharan dust will mix with pollen, producing murky, dusty skies. Areas with rainfall will see wet deposition of quite significant amounts of dust on surfaces outdoors. Dry deposition in areas with no rainfall will produce a more uniform dusting.

All dust maps by University of Athens – SKIRON model.