Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Kalima will come to Poland. Dust from the Sahara desert can affect air quality


The phenomenon known in the Canary Islands as kalima is caused by sand storms raging over the eastern part of the Sahara. The fine dust is carried by the wind and usually hits the Canary Islands. When it appears there, the air temperature rises sharply, and yellow dust covers everything.

The dust from the Sahara is clearly visible in satellite photos published by NASA.

According to Mark Parrington from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, Saharan dust will reach Poland on Tuesday. It will be most visible in the north of the country, however, according to forecasts, the phenomenon will cover all of Poland.

– In recent weeks, we have noted similar phenomena that have had a significant impact on air quality in the affected regions. This is confirmed by the measurements collected by the European Environment Agency. We expect this to be the case for the coming phenomenon as well. It is still uncertain to what extent the dust will be visible to the naked eye. Kalima can make the sky red more intense, visibility is reduced, and dust spots appear on cars and windows, says Mark Parrington.

The phenomenon is related to the very warm and dry air from the Sahara, which is pushed upwards and rises above the layer of colder and humid air from the ocean. Scientists refer to them as the Saharan Air Layer (SAL for short).

Desert dust from the Sahara flows into the Iberian Peninsula every year, sometimes reaching Europe and even North America. However, this year the phenomenon was more intense and it appeared much earlier than usual. In the Pyrenees and the Tatras, you could observe them almost two weeks ago.



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