Blood rain to engulf Switzerland in second wave of Saharan dust

Blood rain to engulf Switzerland in second wave of Saharan dust

Good news for car washes and bad news for drivers in Switzerland - after a whole week of sunshine and 20-degree weather, Saharan dust is set to return on Tuesday. The dust engulfed Germany and Switzerland two weeks ago and is set to return, with “blood" rain and snow forecast for the next week.

Saharan dust set to return to Switzerland

The weather in Switzerland has been unseasonably warm in recent weeks, with temperatures of up to 20 degrees Celsius seen in Swiss cities and in the mountains. However, according to Klaus Marquardt from MeteoNews, this week is when the good weather will end.

Tuesday is set to be gloomy, thanks to the sun being covered by a layer of orange Saharan dust. “We will reach the peak of the Saharan dust on Tuesday. The concentration of dust has increased significantly in the past few days,” Marquardt said.

Drought has engulfed Switzerland this winter

Due to the high concentration of dust in the air, the sunlight will change from bright and clear to milky pale. The Saharan dust is set to spread to France and northern Italy in the coming days, according to satellite imagery.

The dust coincides with an extended period of drought in the country, which has been ongoing since December in Canton Ticino. Around Zurich Airport, only 2,7 millimetres of rain fell per square metre since the beginning of the month, a 79 percent decrease on the average for the time of year.

Scattered showers to provide some respite

Luckily, this week will bring some respite in the form of light rain showers. The inclusion of Saharan dust will cause a phenomenon known as “blood rain” - where rainfall picks up dust particles in the air, giving the water a reddish tinge.

This light rainfall will continue until the weekend, with the snowline falling below 1.000 metres. At lower altitudes, this could also result in sleet.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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