Sand from the Sahara bathes Germany in reddish-brown haze

Sand from the Sahara bathes Germany in reddish-brown haze

The skies over Germany emanated a reddish-brown hue on Tuesday, and Germans were again greeted by the unusual occurrence on Wednesday. The colour has been attributed to sands from the Sahara Desert, which could lead to a rare phenomenon known as “blood rain”.

Red sky at night; shepherds delight

On Tuesday, unsuspecting Germans were greeted by a rather dramatic sight: the sky had turned red. Despite its ominous appearance, meteorologists at the German Weather Service (DWD) stated that this is not a particularly unusual phenomenon. Desert sand from the Sahara is being carried across the world by areas of low pressure over North Africa, which has caused the sky to glow blood-red over parts of western Europe, as well as bringing warmer temperatures to the continent.

The phenomenon has been observed from Spain, to as far west as Switzerland. In Germany, residents have reported seeing red skies in the southern parts of the country, particularly Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. The meteorologists at the DWD explained that, because of the dust in the air, “the sun could still appear very milky, in an otherwise cloudless sky.” Doctors have warned that air quality will suffer significantly due to the desert dust, with children, elderly people and people with respiratory problems particularly at risk.

“Blood rain” expected to fall on Germany

Meteorologists expect a phenomenon known as “blood rain” to occur as the desert sands are swept over Germany. This is when “parts of the Sahara dust can be washed out with the rain,” according to the DWD, leading to the precipitation taking on a blood-red colour. As the blood rain falls and dries, it leaves sand from the Sahara across the country. North-easterly winds are expected to carry the desert sands out of Germany on Thursday.

Despite “blood rain” being considered as a bad omen throughout history, with the phenomenon first being described in Homer’s Iliad in around the 8th century BC, the weather in Germany is expected to remain pleasant this week. According to the DWD forecast, temperatures are expected to reach as high as 18 degrees on Wednesday, maybe up to 20 degrees in the southwest. However, there is unfortunate news for people living in the north, as temperatures are supposed to max out at around 10 degrees on the Baltic Coast.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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