Why has the sky turned orange?

Why has the sky turned orange?
A layer of orange sand from the Sahara covers part of Spain
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Parts of Europe have been blanketed with Sahara dust, transforming skies into an orange hue.

Southern parts of Spain such as Madrid and Murcia have already experienced the aftermath of Storm Celia – and now, the Met Office has predicted the UK could be next.

They said the dust cloud may fall during showers this afternoon if "winds in the upper part of the atmosphere are blowing north."

"Once it is lifted from the ground by strong winds, clouds of dust can reach very high altitudes and be transported worldwide, covering thousands of miles," they added.

Raindrops collect the dust particles as they fall to the ground. Once the rain evaporates, a layer of dust is left behind. Forecasters have said the UK impact is "unlikely" to be significant.

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Richard Miles, of the Met Office, told the PA news agency: "Storm Celia over Spain is indeed pulling a dust cloud up from the Sahara, which could potentially reach as far as the south of the UK,"

"However, we don't expect significant impacts – the most likely would be on the cloudscapes at sunset, but as conditions are likely to be generally overcast and wet for much of the day this is unlikely to amount to much. There are no air quality warnings.

"People in the south might find a bit of dust left on their cars as the rain washes it out of the skies today."

Images captured by satellites have also shown dust over France.

People across Europe have taken to Twitter to share their saturated skies, with parts of London also experiencing a "strange dusky colour."

Wednesday is expected to be cloudy for most of England, Wales, and eastern Scotland, with rain becoming heavier and more widespread in central and eastern areas later in the day.

Rain in England will then begin to clear as many regions turn cold, with patchy frost and some rural mist, the Met Office has said.

Showers, frost and fog will continue to hit parts of the UK for the rest of the week.

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