CAR owners all along Spain’s Mediterranean coast awoke at the weekend to find their vehicles covered in brown sand.
Although muddy rain is a familiar phenomenon in the Valencian Community and Catalunya, this time was different as there was no water – only a fine reddish-brown dust.
Experts report that there are very few documented cases of this type.
Apart from being annoying and causing huge tailbacks at car washes, the African sand cloud left freakish scenes such as skiers in Catalunya speeding down brown slopes.
Weather stations recorded footage of the sand particles slowly blanketing everything in its path, like snow, due to the high concentration of particles in the air.
The red cloud was brought to Europe from Algeria by westerly winds and a mass of air from the Atlantic.
Scientists report that the same phenomenon takes place often on the American continent, with winds carrying sand from the Sahara all the way to the South American rainforests.
Luckily for irate drivers, regular rainfall in Valencia yesterday (Sunday) and Catalunya today helped wash off most of the mess.