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Satellite images show 4,000km-long Saharan dust cloud across Atlantic Ocean

Satellite images show 4,000km-long Saharan dust cloud across Atlantic Ocean
Forecasters say storm could stretch as far as Iceland

Images from space have captured the massive scale of a Saharan dust storm billowing out over the Atlantic Ocean.

The dust plume extends 4,000km (2,500 milhas) from the coast of Mauritiania in Western Africa up to Ireland.

Pictures of the storm have been captured by Copernicus, the European Union’s earth observation satellite.

The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (Cams) forecast that the dust would recirculate towards northwest Europe and the North Sea in the coming days.

The dust could reach as far as Iceland nearly 5,000 a milhas de distância, meteorologistas disseram.

Ano passado, a Saharan dust storm which travelled over the Mediterranean sea had an impact on air quality in southern European cities including Barcelona and Marseille.

Dust plume extends thousands of miles over the Atlantic (Canary Islands off the African coast are highlighted in red)

The US government agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tracks the movement of Saharan dust over the Atlantic throughout the year.

It said the phenomenon is caused by the Saharan Air Layer, a mass of dry air that forms over the desert throughout the year.

The dust is more well known for travelling west over the Atlantic but sometimes travels north towards Europe.

In summer 2020, a dust cloud was so huge it was dubbed “Godzilla” after winds swept nearly 24 tons from the Sahara to North and South America.

Dust plume in June 2020 blows west over the Atlantic Ocean from the Sahara

The dust can be harmful to humans as the fine particles can affect the respiratory system but it has been known to benefit plant life.

The NOAA said the dust storms bring minerals such as phosphorus that support soil health as far away as the Amazon rainforest. It said they can also suppress tropical storm development during hurricane season.