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  • The Saharan dust will cover Spain for up to three days
  • Flights may also be delayed or cancelled due to the freak weather
  • The ‘blood rain’ is also set to affect other European countries  

New warnings have been issued to British tourists as virtually the whole of Spain is set to turn orange as the popular holiday destination braces for ‘blood rain’.

The cooler weather Spanish hotspots have been experiencing has given way to a heatwave, with temperatures soaring into the 30s in some places.

However, the change has also produced a new episode of Saharan dust, known as a calima, which will cover Spain for up to three days.

And weather experts say that as some locations are still seeing rain, the water will merge with the dust to produce ‘blood rain’.

Tourists who suffer from lung or other breathing problems are being urged to take care as they can be adversely affected by the dust which looks like orange haze with limited visibility. 

Alert to Brit tourists as Spain braces for ‘blood rain’ freak weather forecast that can affect anyone with lung problems

Brit tourists have been warned that Spain is set to be hit with ‘blood rain’ that will last three days until Monday

Flights might also be delayed or cancelled.

The invasion of haze which will take over the country until Monday.

According to Marta Almarcha’s weather portal, the Saharan dust will not be limited only to the Iberian Peninsula, as it will affect other European countries.

As of today, the entry of haze from the south will already be noticeable, also affecting the eastern Canary Islands. 

The place where there will be the most dust will be Andalusia, although on this day the concentrations will still be low.

On Saturday the presence of African dust in the air will intensify, which will continue to enter from the south and leave that characteristic orange hue in almost the entire peninsula and the Balearic Islands. 

According to Marta Almarcha, the arrival of haze will be so intense that it may even reach the Scandinavian peninsula, traditionally sheltered from this type of phenomena.

On Sunday, the situation will become even more evident, and will fully affect the south and centre of the peninsula, especially Andalusia, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and Madrid.

People with respiratory ailments should observe the necessary precautions in these cases, especially in those parts of Spain where the haze is going to be intense and persistent.

Forecasts predict that the suspended dust will not clear up until Monday, when an Atlantic front pushes it eastward and the winds change. 

For this reason, on Monday afternoon some communities will see the presence of haze intensify, as will be the case in the Valencian community, the Balearic Islands and even Catalonia.

It comes after the Met Office warned that ‘blood rain’ was set to hit the UK at the end of January.

Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said at the time: ‘Saharan dust is being drawn north to affect the UK in the coming days, following recent dust storms in north Africa.

‘You might want to hold off washing the car just yet. And watch out for some colourful sunrise and sunsets.’

Experts say the phenomenon is fairly common in the UK as it can occur several times a year, happening when big storms in the desert coincide with southerly winds. 

WHAT IS BLOOD RAIN?

Blood rain describes red-coloured rain falling from the sky.

 What causes blood rain?

It happens when relatively high concentrations of red coloured dust or particles get mixed into rain, giving it a red appearance as it falls.

Blood rain is not actually a meteorological or scientific term – instead it’s a colloquial phrase which can be found going a fair way back in history. With that in mind, there’s no set definition for the term.

 How does blood rain happen?

The forces that drive our weather can be quite powerful and do some surprising things – including lifting things like sand or even small objects and transporting them large distances.

In the case of blood rain, strong winds or storms can whip up dust and sand. As this becomes airborne it can get caught up in atmospheric circulation, where it can be carried for thousands of miles.

Eventually the dust will either fall out of the sky due to gravity or will be caught up in rain clouds, where it mixes with the water droplets. When these fall as rain the raindrops could appear red.

 How often does blood rain happen?

Proper blood rain, where the rain actually appears red, is relatively rare because you’d need red dust/particles in fairly high concentrations in the rain.

Documented cases are few and far between. In 2001 in the southern Indian state of Kerala, monsoon rains periodically fell with a red colour which was dark enough to stain clothes. There were also reports of rains of other colours during the same monsoon season – including green and yellow rain.

There are other, much earlier mentions of blood rain – even stretching back to Homer’s Iliad, the epic poem which describes the siege of Troy which is thought to have been written around the 8th Century BC. It was, perhaps unsurprisingly, seen as a bad omen.

 Do we get blood rain in the UK?

These days, in the UK at least, the term blood rain seems to be used much more loosely than the grandiose term would suggest.

Each year on several occasions the UK will see rain falling with some amount of dust mixed into it. This usually comes from the Sahara before mixing in clouds and falling out.

However, the dust we see is usually yellow or brown and mixed in very low concentrations – so the rain would look just the same as usual. The only difference would be that you might find a thin film of dust on your car or windows after the water has evaporated.

So we rarely if ever see ‘proper’ blood rain here in the UK, despite what the media headlines may suggest.



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