• Tue. Mar 9th, 2021

Saharan dust brings stunning sunrises as temperatures to soar to 17°C

ByDNP

Feb 23, 2021

Dust from the Saharan desert have contributed to red sunrises across the UK (Picture: PA/North News/Alamy Live News/Rex)

Dust from the Sahara has been causing colourful sunrises and sunsets across the UK, which is set to see its first ‘hints of spring’ this week.

Stunning red skies were seen over parts of the country on Tuesday morning, with temperatures set to soar in the coming days.

The Tyne Bridge in Newcastle was silhouetted by bright orangey-red clouds as the weather turned warmer but windier, with the Met Office saying eastern parts of the UK were being treated to remarkable morning views. 

High winds have caused dust from the African desert to reach the country, creating spectacular scenery in various locations. Sunsets have also been particularly colourful, with purples and blues stretching across the horizon.

In a tweet, the Met Office said on Tuesday morning: ‘If you live in the east of the UK you may have noticed colourful sunsets and sunrises caused by Saharan dust brought across the UK by high level winds.’

Met Office spokesman Oliver Claydon explained: ’As in other parts of the world, the wind can blow strongly over deserts – whipping up dust and sand high into the sky. If the winds in the upper part of the atmosphere are blowing north, the dust can be carried as far as the UK.

‘Once it is lifted from the ground by strong winds, clouds of dust can reach very high altitudes and be transported worldwide, covering thousands of miles.’

A flaming red sunrise over Newcastle city centre’s Tyne bridge on Tuesday morning (Picture: North News & Pictures)
People take pictures of the sunrise in Blyth, Northumberland (Picture: PA)
Sunrise over the Kent town of Gravesend on the Thames estuary (Picture: Rex)
Bingham, Nottinghamshire, saw clouds in remarkable colours this morning (Picture: Alamy Live News)

Sunrises and sunsets also tend to show more yellow and red lights because the sun is is very low in the sky, meaning that the sunlight we see has travelled through a much thicker amount of atmosphere, scattering blue light away.

Meanwhile, an amber rain warning is in place for Scotland, though the outlook for the rest of the country looks warmer. 

Mr Claydon said there could be high of 16°C to 17°C in the south east, and ‘the first feel of spring towards the end of the week and the weekend’. 

Beach huts add to the colour of the morning sky (Picture: PA)
The stunning red sky wows onlookers sunrise in Blyth, Northumberland (Picture: PA)
Trees are silhouetted against a colourful London skyline (Picture: Rex)
Chimneys in Wimbledon are silhouetted against a colourful sky at sunrise (Picture: Rex)

But in parts of central and southern Scotland, where up to 120mm could fall within 24-36 hours over Tuesday and Wednesday, a severe weather warning is in place. 

A yellow warning for wind is also in force covering the whole of Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as the far north of Wales on Tuesday, with gusts of up to 70mph possible in exposed coastal locations.

Chief Meteorologist Andy Page added: ‘An area of low pressure to the north west of the UK will bring very wet and windy conditions to parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and north west England through the start of the week.

‘Up to 120mm of rain could fall in a relatively short time, bringing the risk of flooding.

‘With continued southerly winds mild temperatures are forecast for much of the UK, with highs of 14-16°C in the south and east through the week. 

‘As the system moves through by the middle of the week high pressure moves in and this will bring more settled conditions into the weekend, with good spells of sunshine it could feel like the first hints of spring.’

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