Sand clouds from the Sahara threaten Sweden

An unusually heavy sand cloud from the Sahara puts parts of Europe under it, reports the EU’s climate service Copernicus. During Tuesday evening it may reach Sweden, Finland and northwestern Russia.

The cloud has so far hit Spain the worst, but France, Switzerland and Germany have also reported worse air quality. The cloud now sweeps north and may reach Scandinavia, which is connected with warmer weather moving in over Europe in recent days.

– It is not unusual for sand clouds from the Sahara to reach Europe, but the intensity and occurrence of such events has increased in recent years, says Mark Parrington, senior researcher at Copernicus.

The cloud degrades air quality and covers windows and cars with dirt. In parts of France, people have been asked to refrain from strenuous physical activities. Especially those who have breathing and heart problems are asked to be careful.

According to SMHI, strong concentrations of dust and sand particles from the Sahara rarely occur in Sweden.