London/Bonn. The first Sahara dust of the year over Europe could make itself felt on cars and windows in Germany on Thursday. This was announced by the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Service. A major impact on the quality of breathing air is not expected in Germany, but rain could bring the dust to the ground on Thursday, said the leading Copernicus scientist Mark Parrington at the request of the German Press Agency.
According to the forecast, the Sahara dust should reach north-west Germany as early as Wednesday and continue to spread across the country during the day and on Thursday. However, most of the dust is found at high altitudes.
Sahara dust: Air quality impacts expected in Portugal and Spain
According to the Atmosphere Service, larger amounts of dust from North Africa reached Europe this week for the first time this year and were moving from the Iberian Peninsula towards France and Central and Eastern Europe. Effects on air quality were mainly expected for Portugal and Spain.
Sahara dust could affect human health and the energy sector, a Copernicus statement said. For example, allergies could be intensified. The dust particles in the atmosphere could also affect the generation of solar energy. A reddish discoloration of the sky is typical of Sahara dust.
The Atmosphere Monitoring Service is one of several components of the European Union’s Copernicus programme. Among other things, it provides data on the atmosphere, oceans, land, climate change, security and energy obtained from satellite images.