UK weather: Saharan dust cloud could create a ‘blood rain’ effect across the UK

BBC Weather warns of ‘big showers and thunderstorms’

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The Met Office has already issued a yellow thunderstorm warning which is in place until the early hours of Thursday in south-east England, including London, with potential disruption to travel. According to the Met Office, “Blood rain” occurs when high concentrations of red-coloured dust or particles combine with rain, giving it a red appearance as it falls.

The red or orange rain is expected in some parts of the UK after moving across Europe, alongside heavy downpours, lightning, strong winds, and hail.

The dust cloud, which originated in the Sahara, was last seen in the UK in March – causing the skies to turn temporarily orange.

The weather warning comes after the hottest day of the year so far on Tuesday, as temperatures in the south-east peaked at 27.5C.

Richard Miles, from the Met Office, said: “There are some dust concentrations in the atmosphere above the UK at present which might well be washed out in the rain tonight, but it’s likely to be relatively small amounts on the whole.

“There’s a warning out for thunderstorms for the south-eastern third of England tonight, and a squally cold front will bring wind and sometimes heavy rain to Northern Ireland and north-west Scotland this evening.

“Away from these features it will be mostly fine and dry on Wednesday and tomorrow, temperatures up to 23-24C in London and the south-east, high teens or low 20s elsewhere.”

The expected thunderstorms may cause spray and flooding, leading to difficult driving conditions and some road closures.

There may also be delays or cancellations to train and bus services, flooding to homes and businesses, power cuts and damage due to lightning strikes.

According to meteorologists, Friday evening looks showery in the north and west, but drier for the southeast.

Jo Farrow from NetWeather.TV said: “There will be a fresher feel for Friday night with a moderate west wind, light for Southwest Britain by early Saturday.

“No longer the warm, humid southerly feed which lifted temperatures past 27C in London on Tuesday.

“So nighttime temperatures will fall into single figures. The showers fade during Friday night.”

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Saturday will witness a lot of fair, dry weather with warm sunshine.

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