How could sand from the Sahara cross the Alps? | iRADIO

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The Saharan sand above the Czech Republic attracted not only weather watchers but also some misinformation. According to them, sand could not reach the Czech Republic via the Alps, and in earlier years it did not occur so much over Central Europe. The server iROZHLAS.cz and Radiožurnál have focused on several of them in the OVERVIEW project and, together with Jáchym Brzezina from the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, refutes them.



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7:00 a.m April 1, 2024

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Sand has moved over the Czech Republic before, only now we have better tools to monitor it, meteorologists say | Source: iRozhlas.cz collage

The first thing people wondered about during the weekend was how the sand from Africa could travel almost three thousand kilometers to the Czech Republic, via the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea.


In part of the Czech Republic, there is a smog situation due to Saharan dust. People should limit physical activity

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“The Alps are about four kilometres, so the sand had to rise to about five kilometres, it has a fucking turbine, I don’t know. But no one cares that he should have fallen over the Alps. No one cares that he’s been taking powder here for two days,” said one man in a video on the X Network (formerly Twitter).

Depending on the conditions in the atmosphere, so-called polluting particles, such as sand or smoke, can travel hundreds to thousands of kilometers, he explains Jáchym Brzezin. For example, last year, smoke from forest fires in Canada crossed the Atlantic and reached us.

“Particles can travel at different heights, that’s probably why it crossed the Alps. How many times is the Sahara sand there and we don’t even know about it, or rather it can’t be seen because it’s high up,” says Brzezina.

Sand from the Sahara in a photo from Olomouc


Sand from the desert in the Czech Republic? ‘It’s common in the spring months,’ reminds Brzezina from the Meteorological Institute

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But now, according to meteorologists, the sand has fallen low and we notice it because it moves in the ground layer and thus causes a smog situation.

Wasn’t he here before?

“Why sand from the Sahara did not blow for several thousand years and started only now, they probably won’t explain,” one Facebook user wrote, trying to point out that Sahara sand had not previously appeared over the Czech Republic.

According to Brzenina, the situation is still the same, only now we have more means to observe the weather. “We have a much better ability to track it on satellites, and we have predictive models that tell us where the sand is going to spread,” says Brzezina.

Saharan dust brings more clouds and reduces visibility. Looking into the distance, a yellow-tinged haze may appear in the sky. It resembles the rising of dust over a field during agricultural work.

Matilda Hofschnaidrová

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The article is in Czech &&

Tags: sand Sahara cross Alps iRADIO

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