TWC: Saharan Dust Turns Spain’s Ski Slopes a Dirty White

Written by on February 25, 2017 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland, Winter 2016/17 with 0 Comments

By Pam Wright
Feb 23 2017 12:00 AM EST

Story Highlights
Dust from the Sahara Desert was swept up into a low-pressure system over north Africa on Monday before making its way toward Europe.
In Spain’s Sierra Nevada, snow falling on ski slopes had a brownish color.
The dust will move further east toward Italy in the coming days.

A large amount of Saharan dust swept into a low-pressure system over north Africa on Monday has made its way into the Sierra Nevada mountains of Spain, turning snow to a dirty shade of white.
After hitting Spain and Portugal this week, the thick dust cloud – which consists of tiny pieces of metal oxide, clays and carbonates – will move into Italy, Malta and the Balkans early next week and could cause a wide range of illnesses, according to the Watchers.

Areas most at risk include the Iberian Peninsula, Balearic Islands, southern France, Corsica, Sardinia, Italy, Malta, southwestern Balkans, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.
According to NOAA, dust is the largest component of aerosols in Earth’s atmosphere, which has an impact on the Earth’s climate.
“Dust may also affect hurricanes, as recent research based on data sets dating back to the 1950s suggests an inverse relationship between dust in the tropical North Atlantic and the number of Atlantic hurricanes during the past several decades,” notes the agency on its website.

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