Greece and Southern Europe Brace For Incoming Saharan Sand



This map shows the projected African sand and dust levels for Wednesday, April 24. Image from the University of Athens.

Greece and many parts of Southern and central European countries find themselves bracing for a new wave of incoming Saharan sand over the next several days.

The southerly winds, which will strengthen by Wednesday, are expected to transport large quantities of sand from the Sahara desert in Africa to Europe.

Meteorologists predict that the atmosphere over Greece and Italy will carry high levels of the sand, especially on Wednesday, a phenomenon which can prove quite dangerous for sensitive groups of people, such as those who suffer from asthma or other lung diseases.

The sand and dust situation is expected to improve by the end of the week.

The phenomenon of Saharan sand being transferred to Europe is not rare, since every time  strong winds come from the south, large quantities of sand are drawn up and transported all the way to Southern Europe. This can occur even during the wintertime; this past winter, snowcapped peaks on Crete were tinged with peach-colored African sand.

The first countries which always receive the largest quantities of African sand are Portugal, Spain, Italy, Malta and Greece, since they are at the southernmost points of the European continent.

Several days ago, another strong wave of sand hit western parts of Europe, with African sand being detected even in the atmosphere over Scotland!