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WEATHER

Sahara sand storm set to turn French skies orange

The skies above south west France are forecast to turn orange on Wednesday, due to a particular weather phenomenon caused by red sand from the Sahara blowing in.

Sahara sand storm set to turn French skies orange
Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

According to Metéo France, a gust of desert sand will affect a large part of France, including Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occitanie, on from late Tuesday.

The orange skies are set to peak on Wednesday, March 16th, continuing into Thursday morning.

The strange weather pattern is expected to be particularly pronounced in some parts of the Pyrenees mountains, where the snow will sport a tinted yellow-orange colour. 

The phenomenon, which occurred several times last year, is known to produce especially spectacular sunsets.

This time, combined with expected rainfall, the sand is likely to accumulate, dropping even more orange dust on our vehicles and mopeds.

Storms in the Sahara create large gusts of wind, which lift the sand into the air.

If this occurs at the same time as a conflict between pressure systems, meaning there is hotter air in the skies and colder air on the ground, small particles of sand can become suspended and carried away, across the Mediterranean to France and Spain.

Though not necessarily dangerous for your health, it may be wise to take care (potentially wearing a mask) these next few days if you suffer from respiratory complications. 

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WEATHER

UPDATE: Stormy weather alerts issued in France

France's meteorological service has issued orange alerts for storms in 21 départements urging the population to be vigilant.

UPDATE: Stormy weather alerts issued in France

Météo France has warned that much of the country will experience storms on Sunday. 

21 départements have been issued orange weather warnings. 

They include Landes, Gironde, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne, Dordogne, Charente, Charente-Maritime, Vienne, Haute-Vienne, Corrèze, Creuse, Cantal, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhône, Allier, Cher, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Deux-Sèvres, Haute-Loire and Loire.

People living or visiting these areas are urged to “be very vigilant”. 

Forecasters predict hail and strong winds of up to 110km/h in some areas. Périgord, Limousin, Quercy and areas to the east of Poitou and Charentes are most likely to be battered by strong gusts. 

This weather is set to last until about 3AM on Monday. 

The storms will coincide with temperatures surpassing 30 degrees across much of the southern half of the country.

Last weekend, violent thunder storms left thousands of homes without electricity in northwestern France. 

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