Smog caused by Saharan dust hits south-east London and north Kent

The smog from the Royal Greenwich Observatory this afternoon. Photo: Elly Maxwell

The smog from the Royal Greenwich Observatory this afternoon. Photo: Elly Maxwell

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

Smog caused by Saharan dust hit south-east London and north Kent today.

Experts say "high to moderate" levels of pollution are expected in the area for the rest of the week, ebbing away on Friday.

During this period asthma sufferers and people with heart or lung problems have been warned not to take exercise outdoors.


View a gallery of smog pictures from around the UK


The pollution has been caused by light south-easterly winds, the continental air flow and dust blown up from the Sahara desert.

It comes after some people found their cars covered in a light coating of red dust at the weekend.

The Met Office said a large amount of sand and dust had been swept up by storm winds in the Sahara Desert.

The airborne particles of dust were blown north to the UK where they combined with warm air and were deposited during showers.

A Defra spokeswoman said: "The high level of air pollution this week is due to a combination of local emissions, light winds, pollution from the continent and dust blown over from the Sahara.

"We want to keep improving air quality and have introduced a new five-day forecast service in addition to investing heavily in local and transport initiatives to tackle this issue head-on."

To view a map of pollution levels expected over the next few days, click here.

Has the smog affected you? Do you have any pictures? Call 01689 885 711 or send an e-mail.

Comments (4)

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12:41pm Wed 2 Apr 14

sarfflondonbird says...

Has made a right ole mess on the cars as well.......Dirty air!
Has made a right ole mess on the cars as well.......Dirty air! sarfflondonbird
  • Score: 11

1:15pm Wed 2 Apr 14

white rabbit9 says...

Oh great more asylum seeekers.
Oh great more asylum seeekers. white rabbit9
  • Score: 12

8:49am Thu 3 Apr 14

Eagles_Man says...

Stop the dust - vote UKIP!
Stop the dust - vote UKIP! Eagles_Man
  • Score: 4

10:30am Thu 3 Apr 14

sarlane says...

Couldn't believe hearing a young chap on the train to work today (Thursday) who got on at New Eltham telling a friend on the phone that his car was covered with some strange dust - not anyone else's, just his! If young people stopped burying their heads in their computer games and mobile phones and actually took some interest (via newspapers - some of them are even free! - and TV) in the news, then they would be better informed. I nearly handed him my copy of Metro but I hadn't finished reading it!
Couldn't believe hearing a young chap on the train to work today (Thursday) who got on at New Eltham telling a friend on the phone that his car was covered with some strange dust - not anyone else's, just his! If young people stopped burying their heads in their computer games and mobile phones and actually took some interest (via newspapers - some of them are even free! - and TV) in the news, then they would be better informed. I nearly handed him my copy of Metro but I hadn't finished reading it! sarlane
  • Score: 5

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