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Thick Saharan dust blowing into southeastern Europe and eastern Mediterranean today – March 18, 2018

Exceptional amounts of Saharan dust are being blown into the eastern Mediterranean, southeastern and eastern Europe today. Fine Saharan dust is being carried with very warm air in strong southerly Scirocco winds, in response to a cutoff low over CNTRL-E Mediterranean.

Major amounts of Saharan dust have already been reported in Greece. As Γιώργος Στυλιανού from Heraklion, Crete reported on our Facebook page, “we had nearly 23 °C at 2 am and super strong dusty winds”. Dimitris Kaltsas reports “Very dusty, warm and a bit rainy in Athens today”.Images below show the dusty skies over the Aegean region this afternoon.

Dusty air over Santorini, Greece this afternoon. Image: Skyline Webcams.

Dusty air over Astypalaia, Greece this afternoon. Image: Skyline Webcams.

Dusty air in Rio, West Greece today. Report: Katerina Angelou.

The Saharan dust cloud is rapidly moving northeastward, pushing far into southeastern Europe (Bulgaria, Ukraine) and into the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus and Turkey.

A second wave of Saharan dust is expected across Greece and E-CNTRL Mediterranean tomorrow – more on this event shortly.