Dust Storm Sunset over Portugal

June 07, 2022


Photographer: Leonor Ferreira

Summary Authors: Leonor Ferreira; Cadan Cummings

Earlier this year, a dust storm passed through a large portion of Europe causing several days of reduced air quality. The dust storm was generated by a low-pressure system over the Sahara Desert that picked up and blew the particulates north over the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. A byproduct of the poor air quality was dramatic sunsets, with vibrant orange hues especially visible throughout the Iberian Peninsula. The photo above shows a sunset on March 17, 2022, from near Ventosa, Portugal. As is seen in the photo, the dust is so intense that it partially blocks out the Sun. At some locations during the storm, dust concentrations approached or exceeded 100 micrograms per cubic meter of particulates sized up to 10 microns in diameter.


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