Dust from the Sahara is sweeping across the UK this week, creating stunning sunsets – but also posing a risk to those with asthma.
Nasa’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) has captured the incredible scenes as vast swaths of Sahara sand blow across Europe and land in the UK.
The snapshot of the Earth shows observations of the phenomenon on Wednesday, September 6.
The satellite imagery is available within three hours of observation – essentially showing the entire Earth as it looks ‘right now’.
Explaining the phenomenon, the Met Office said: ‘Saharan dust is a mixture of sand and dust from the Sahara, the vast desert area that covers most of North Africa.
‘As in other parts of the world, the wind can blow strongly over deserts – whipping up dust and sand high into the sky.
‘If the winds in the upper part of the atmosphere are blowing north, the dust can be carried as far as the UK.’
However, while the dust storm can make for some glorious sunsets, the dust can pose a risk to those with asthma and other lung conditions.
Dr Andy Whittamore, clinical lead at the charity Asthma + Lung UK, said: ‘Saharan dust could pose a serious risk to people living with a lung condition, such as asthma.
‘Dust and other types of air pollution are a well-known trigger for people with lung conditions.
‘Toxic air can leave people struggling for breath, worsen symptoms, cause an asthma attack or flare up of their lung condition.’
Speaking to The Sun, Dr Whittamore suggested those as risk stay indoors where possible while the dust level is high, adding: ‘If you have a preventer or maintenance inhaler, you should take it every day as prescribed, even when well.
‘You should also keep your reliever or rescue inhaler with you in case of emergencies, so you can use it quickly if your symptoms get worse.’
Source: Read Full Article