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Julie sends a red alert on shape of things to come

GOSPORT girl Julie Maguire sends this dramatic image from the coast of southern Spain, showing red sand from the Sahara Desert in North Africa that had been blown across the Mediterranean Sea on Friday (March 25).

Driven by strong wind and rain the sandstorm has led to warnings of poor visibility in many areas of Spain; residents also advised to wear face masks and to avoid outdoor exercise until the dust has subsided.

And, as has often been the case with fine dust carried by the wind across Europe, it could only be a matter of time before it is eventually deposited on the streets of Gosport and Fareham as seen recently.

Ten days ago on March 16, a similar event saw dust arrive in the UK after being driven north by strong winds from Storm Celia; leading to eerie skies for a number of hours as Hampshire residents shared photographs online with colourful scenes snapped of the rare weather sequence.

Met Office meteorologist Dan Stroud explained the colours were caused by Rayleigh scattering from additional particles in the air. He said: “The dust in the atmosphere causes the light to be more refracted, so you get the dominance of the red and orange tinges of the spectrum,”

Julie, daughter of the Globe’s former associate editor and director Peter Maguire, has inherited her interest in photography from him. She has lived and worked in Spain for several years but hopes to pay a return visit soon once travel conditions permit following the Covid-19 pandemic.