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Forest fires in Spain and dust from Sahara give sun eerie orange glow.

THE orange-tinted sky and red sun were a mystery to many weather watchers as Storm Ophelia hit this country.

Dust from the Sahara and debris from forest fires in Spain and Portugal spread across the UK, eventually reaching Manchester after initially arriving at the south coast. Many took to social media to share pictures of the strange phenomenon, with some even comparing it to the dystopian landscape depicted in the film Blade Runner.

The storm also pulled in unseasonably warm air up from Spain and North Africa, bringing temperatures in the early 20s over the weekend. Dr Dave Reynolds, from The Weather Channel, said strong winds over Iberia yesterday had led to dust from the region being raised and blown to the UK.

Some of the dust may be particulates from the fires, he said, although it is thought regular fine-grained dust accounted for the majority.

Dr Reynolds said the phenomenon was also exacerbated by the cold front of Ophelia moving across southern Britain being very weak, meaning there was not much rain to wash the dust out.

As fresher air moved in later during the day, the colouration in the sky gradually faded.

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Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Geographic Code:4EUSP
Date:Oct 17, 2017
Words:194
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