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File image of a previous 'calima' episode on the Costa del Sol. SUR
Experts warn of another 'calima' bringing more red dust from Sahara desert to the south of Spain, but will we get 'blood rain'?
Weather forecast

Experts warn of another 'calima' bringing more red dust from Sahara desert to the south of Spain, but will we get 'blood rain'?

Aemet, the state weather agency, forecasts a warm air mass will send the thermometers soaring towards the 30C mark at the end of the week and the accompanying cloud of dust will spread from west to east across the Andalucía region

Wednesday, 3 April 2024, 12:25

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After saying goodbye to storm Nelson and facing these days of meteorological transition, with a cold snap in the early mornings, Andalucía is preparing for a sharp rise in temperatures this coming weekend, when the mercury will reach close to 30C in many places. But the heat will not arrive on its own. The mass of warm air is expected to be accompanied in the region by the entry of suspended dust from the Sahara desert in the atmosphere. "There is a high probability of 'calima' (haze) this weekend. But we will have to wait and see if it is accompanied by rain, leaving mud deposits," warned expert José Luis Escudero, head of the SUR blog 'Tormentas y Rayos' (storms and lightning).

Spain's state weather agency (Aemet) agrees with Escudero's forecast and predicts "cloudy skies with high clouds and dust in suspension entering the western half of the region during the afternoon" on Friday. In addition, on that day, the mercury will begin to climb, a rise that will be "locally notable for the highs of the Guadalquivir valley" and moderate winds are expected in the Strait of Cadiz area, "where very strong gusts of wind are not ruled out".

"In the second half of the week, a weather trough will move to the west of the Spanish mainland, with several areas of low pressure on the surface. The arrangement of these storm fronts will favour the rise of a very warm and anomalous air mass for the dates, leaving temperatures of over 30C in several regions", said Samuel Biener, weather researcher and editor of the specialised meteorology portal Meteored.

According to his forecast, another 'calima' will be on the horizon: "We will have to pay attention to another phenomenon: suspended dust in the atmosphere. With the strong southerly air flow predicted by our reference weather model, a tongue of dust will emerge from Morocco on Thursday, first affecting the eastern islands of the Canary Islands and then becoming clearly noticeable on the Spanish mainland throughout Friday", he warned. And he added: "At the present time, it is not ruled out that mud or 'blood rain' may fall in Spain".

For today (3 April) Aemet forecasts the passage of the front after which the transition to more stable anticyclonic weather is expected. "There will be abundant morning low clouds on the Atlantic slope and the Pyrenees, with light showers in Galicia, west of the Central system and north of the Northern plateau. These rains may also be scattered and occasional in other areas and will generally tend to subside and clear", it emphasised. In addition, morning fog banks are likely on the Atlantic coast of Andalucía.

Looking ahead to Saturday, the state agency points to "cloudy skies with high clouds, increasing at the end of the day in the western third, where weak precipitation is not ruled out. The dust in suspension will spread from west to east throughout the day," it added.

On Sunday, the Spanish mainland is expected to continue to be exposed to the passage of Atlantic fronts leaving unstable weather with abundant cloudiness and precipitation. "Although with a high degree of uncertainty as to their disposition, rain is expected in the western and north-western third of the country, most probably in the central north of the mainland, but without ruling out the possibility of showers in other regions", and temperatures will tend to fall across the board that day, except in the eastern Mediterranean area, where they will increase.

In Malaga province, the bad news is that no new rain (at least not significant) is expected for the next two weeks, that is, in the first fortnight of April, according to the forecast of the weather models that Aemet manages. "This week hardly anything will fall, and probably not next week either," the Met Office said. Only on Sunday could there be some showers, but, if they do occur, they will be weak and scattered.

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