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Pyrenees Left Covered In Sand As Dust Storm Sweeps Over Europe

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Pyrenees Left Covered In Sand As Dust Storm Sweeps Over Europe

The result of a Saharan dust cloud is pushing its way across Europe and has now covered the French Pyrenees. Watch below as skiers and snowboarders catch the magnificent view on film:

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At the Piau-Engaly ski resort, located in southern France, a thin layer of sand fell on the Pyrenees causing the snow to turn a light orange colour.

Saharan dust is basically a mixture of sand and dust from the Saharan desert, which can be blown further afield by strong winds.

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And now the Pyrenees looks like something out of a movie, with that sharp change in colour.

Credit: @inpowwetrust
Credit: @inpowwetrust

Skiers were able to catch the brilliant footage of them swaying up and down the Pyrenees.

Double European windsurfing champion Sam Esteve and the In Pow We Trust snowboarding crew filmed themselves careening down the mountain over the sand and snow.

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The fact it looked like you could build a sandcastle right next to a snowman is pretty crazy.

Credit: @inpowwetrust
Credit: @inpowwetrust

Well, the Met Office has said that the dust can reach as far as the UK if the ‘winds in the upper part of the atmosphere are blowing north, the dust can be carried as far as the UK’. 

“Once it is lifted from the ground by strong winds, clouds of dust can reach very high altitudes and be transported worldwide, covering thousands of miles,” it explains on its website. 

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In order for this dust to come down to the ground, it needs to be washed out of the sky by rain – with raindrops collecting particles of dust as they fall. When the rain lands and eventually evaporates, a layer of dust is then left behind. 

Credit: @inpowwetrust
Credit: @inpowwetrust

Earlier this morning (Wednesday 16 March), the Met Office tweeted to say that the dust may fall to the ground. 

It said: "We can see the #SaharanDust that has pushed across Spain and France, into southeast England. 

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"Whilst this dust is mostly about 2km above ground level, some deposits may fall to the ground, especially during today's rain in southern parts of the UK." 

Saharan dust can sometimes pose a health risk, including to people with asthma, with atmospheric scientist Dr Claire Ryder from the University of Reading saying: "Air quality may be slightly lower than usual due to the dust particles in the air."

However, the Met Office's Richard Miles said no air quality warnings have been issued, although warned that people may find dust left on their cars.

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Miles said: “Storm Celia over Spain is indeed pulling a dust cloud up from the Sahara, which could potentially reach as far as the south of the UK. 

“However, we don’t expect significant impacts – the most likely would be on the cloudscapes at sunset but, as conditions are likely to be generally overcast and wet for much of the day, this is unlikely to amount to much. There are no air-quality warnings."

Featured Image Credit: BASTIEN ARBERET/AFP via Getty Images

Topics: World News

Anish Vij
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