Photo: KK

Saharan Dust Blankets Czechia: Air Quality Deteriorates

A large amount of Saharan dust began entering the Czech Republic from the southwest on Saturday night, worsening the air quality, shrouding the sky in fog, and significantly impacting yesterday’s maximum temperatures, as reported by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMU) on the social network X yesterday.

Earlier, CHMU had noted that the dust can lower temperatures by dampening the sun’s rays.

While the CHMU did not declare a smog situation, as dust concentrations in the air were anticipated to diminish soon, individuals are advised to monitor pollution levels. Some may need to refrain from engaging in significant physical activity.

Dust Concentrations, Smog

The dust has also probably caused (more) high cloud formation (especially in the lee of the Alps), which none of the (forecast) numerical models had foreseen,” the CHMU said.

Ceilometers, which use a laser beam to measure the height and amount of cloud cover, show an increased layer of reflectivity of the beam at a height of around two kilometres, according to meteorologists. But the dust apparently doesn’t just move that high. “In southwestern Bohemia, the dust is even lower, affecting even ground-level dust concentrations,” the Czech National Weather Service added.

On Saturday night, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has declared a smog situation for the Brno city agglomeration. “This is caused by the transition of Saharan sand and related high concentrations of PM10 particulate matter. The Saharan sand may continue to be present in our region until Monday,” said Brno branch of CHMU.

The progression of dust air pollution across the Czech Republic was published in an animation on the X network by Jachym Brzezina from the Brno branch of the Czech Hydrometeorological Office.

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