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Saharan dust: Why your car is covered in red dirt

Many drivers are asking why their cars are covered in red-coloured dirt - and the answer lies in Africa.

The Easter weekend's hot weather has brought not only record-breaking temperatures, but a dumping of dust from the Sahara desert.

The dust is carried in the air and can then come down as "blood rain", leaving the red deposits on everything it falls on.It also created spectacular sunrises on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The red grit was on cars as people left work on Tuesday and came down in overnight showers.

What is Saharan Dust?

As in other parts of the world, the wind can blow strongly over deserts - whipping up dust and sand high into the sky. 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.

In order for the dust to get from up in the sky down to the ground, you need something to wash it out of the sky - rain. As raindrops fall, they collect particles of dust on the way down. Then when the raindrops land on something and eventually evaporate, they leave behind a layer of dust.

Saharan dust is relatively common in the UK often happening several times a year when big dust storms in the Sahara coincide with southerly wind patterns. In certain weather situations, Saharan dust can also affect air pollution and pollution levels.

Source : BBC

Has your car been affected by the Saharan Dust? Head over to our Twitter page and tag us @PeoplesFord with your images, we'll then be in touch & have our valeting team book your car or van in for a super valet at your closest dealership. ( Limited availability and T&Cs apply)