Blowin’ In The Wind
Cartagena is less than 200 kilometres from the nearest point of the North African coast. The Sahara desert isn’t much farther than that.
At this time of year there’s a weather phenomena that brings the sands of the desert much closer.
For days now we’ve been locked into a pattern of ‘Calima’ winds.
These winds move the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) northwards and westwards. They carry fine red dust hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles. The Canary Islands get it worst but recently it’s been thicker over the Iberian peninsula.
Here’s a photo taken from the International Space Station in February last year when conditions were similar. The dust is easy to see.
Calima winds are warm but on the ground it doesn’t feel like it. The warmth of the sun is all but removed as the heat is absorbed by the dust in the atmosphere.
The days have been dull and cool as a result. This was the sun at 9.00am yesterday.
For us this Calima is a minor inconvenience. At their worst these conditions can cause respiratory problems, close airports and make driving difficult.
We had some rain last night and woke to find the boat covered.
I’m glad we’re in a marina with fresh water and a hosepipe. It took me an hour to wash everything off.