Holiday Dust

At this time of year, many of us are in search of some winter sun, and a popular destination for Brits abroad is Egypt.

Typical conditions in Cairo at this time of year are fairly warm, dry and sunny. On average in February you could expect to see daytime highs of 21C, 8 hours of sunshine per day, and 1 wet day in the whole month. However, there may be some disappointed holidaymakers at the moment, as rather than sunshine; there is dust in the forecast. A dense dust plume has been developing across Libya and Egypt and will continue to grow over the coming days.

A deep area of low pressure in the central Mediterranean has given some very unsettled weather over recent days, and will continue to bring heavy rain and snow to northern parts of Algeria, Tunisia and perhaps western parts of Libya over the next few days. Very strong winds around the low will generate dust storms and sand storms and these will move across the rest of Libya and into Egypt during the first part of this week.

The dust storms will be severe and widespread enough to cause some disruption to air travel in the region, with perhaps some public health issues also.

The deep pink area in this satellite picture is the dust, and the line of dust stretches right up towards Greece.

The deep pink area in this satellite picture is the dust, and the line of dust stretches right up towards Greece.

These intense dust storms are often called Haboobs, which were first named in Saharan Sudan. They are frequently associated with thunderstorms or even small tornadoes, and usually last about three hours. The storms tend to develop late in the day during summer, and are sometime followed by rain. They can transport and deposit huge quantities of sand or dust, moving as an extremely dense wall that can be up to 100 km wide and several kilometers high.

Dust storm

For more information about the weather abroad, visit our holiday weather section.

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4 Responses to Holiday Dust

  1. xmetman says:

    This is not the first dust storm to affect that region this month, one occurred on the 11th, that apparently was the most severe in over 20 years according to local newspaper reports that I read, later the same week, snow badly affected higher parts of Israel (including Jerusalem) and Jordan, see my blog for more details:

  2. Ice ages and dust seem to go together as a general drying of the Climate seems to be associated with ice-ages and in some way may be responsible for their progression and even the changes going into an ice-age and out.

    So, could this dust be “yet more evidence” that we are heading toward an ice-age? 🙂

  3. Pinot Noir says:

    Sand storms are a common event in area which is close to a desert that is why we need to wear sun glasses and a blanket on us to prevent the dust to enter our eyes, nose and mouth.

    In the meantime, N.A.S.A. worns of massive droughts in many warm areas of the planet.

  4. xmetman says:

    I think its around a week since I commented so I know that the reason you have not validated it is down to the strike – so just what gives? You have a blog but as far as I can see its a one-way process you make an announcement and that’s it!
    The whole concept of blogging is that people engage with you and you respond, or let people who have some additional information post their comments!

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