Saharan Dust: The reason people across Liverpool and Merseyside woke up to find their cars were filthy

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People across the country woke up to thick layers of dust covering their cars.

People across Merseyside woke up on Thursday morning to find their cars had become rather filthy overnight. But just how has it happened? Well - the culprit comes all the way from North Africa.

Saharan Dust, from the vast desert area that shares its name, can be blown all the way to the UK if the wind in the upper part of the atmosphere is in the right direction.

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Many people across the country posted about the phenomenon as they headed out to their cars for the first time on Thursday.

The Met Office explains Saharan Dust

The Met Office describes how the dust from the desert can go high into the atmosphere and be moved around the world - including the more than 2,500 miles between Liverpool and the Sahara. 

To come down, it needs rain, and after a glorious, dry week the most familiar English weather arrived during Wednesday night.

The Met Office website states: “In order for the dust to get from up in the sky down to the ground, you need something to wash it out of the sky - rain.  As raindrops fall, they collect particles of dust on the way down. Then when the raindrops land on something and eventually evaporate, they leave behind a layer of dust.

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“Saharan dust is relatively common in the UK often happening several times a year when big dust storms in the Sahara coincide with southerly wind patterns.  In certain weather situations, Saharan dust can also affect air pollution and pollution levels.”

In practicality, maybe just run the car through the car wash on the way back from work.

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