Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dust from Sahara for a few days

The current weather situation with very deep low pressure systems that are bringing storms to much of Northern Europe and very strong high pressure in the central Atlantic is now steering an easterly air current from North Africa directly over the Canary Islands, bringing some dust from the Sahara desert. This current is called calima in the Canaries and much dreaded. More information: Calima: Weather from the Sahara
This time of the year the heat wave normally associated with calima is more like a cool breeze as the Sahara is pretty cold in the depth of winter, and while the regions further up in the mountains may become a couple of degrees warmer, it is a bit colder than normal around the coast and in the lower regions. The presence of cold air in the upper layers adds a chill to this 'cold calima'. However it won't be as bad as last weekend and no warnings have been issued.
This present spell of calima is expected to last well into next week and once again the eastern islands are bearing the brunt of the dust due to their closeness to the Sahara while La Gomera will get less of it. Above is the forecast chart of the University of Athens' SKIRON model for noon today showing the relatively minor surface dust concentrations, and below the same for Tuesday, January 13th.

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