Red dust from Sahara reaches east coast and midlands

Dust can be health hazard for people who are affected by poor air quality – EPA

Dust particles from the Sahara desert were swept into the upper part of the atmosphere by gales across North Africa before being transported to Ireland where the particles fell during heavy rain showers overnight. File photograph: Getty

Dust particles from the Sahara desert were swept into the upper part of the atmosphere by gales across North Africa before being transported to Ireland where the particles fell during heavy rain showers overnight. File photograph: Getty

 

A light shower of red dust fell on parts of Ireland overnight having blown in from the Sahara.

The dust particles were swept into the upper part of the atmosphere by gales across North Africa before being transported to Ireland where the particles fell during heavy rain showers overnight.

The dust which has been dispersed across parts of the midlands and along the north east coast can present a health hazard for people with respiratory conditions such as asthma.

How much dust from the Sahara settles on Ireland and for how long depends on the prevailing weather, in particular the wind direction and speed.

On Wednesday evening, the EU Copernicus model which tracks air quality was showing that that dust laden air mass won’t last over Ireland and was dispersing.

“Saharan Dust events can lead to higher levels of particulate matter (fine dust) in our air,” a spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said.

She added that the dust created potential health impacts especially for people who are affected by poor air quality and said the EPA would continue to monitor computer forecasts and air quality measurement data from across Europe and will share relevant information via its twitter feed @epaairquality.