Dust and haze

Significant increase in frequency and intensity of sandstorms in the Middle East over the past 15 years

A significant increase in frequency and the intensity of sand and dust storms has been observed in the Middle East over the past 15 years. Although the Middle East has been the worst hit, with Iran and Kuwait the most affected, meteorologists say they are now also...

June 17, 2016

Daylong dust storm closes freeway on Arizona-New Mexico border 4th time since late April

For the fourth time since late April 2016, a dust storm has closed a 62-mile stretch (101 km) of a major freeway on both sides of the Arizona-New Mexico border. The latest closure happened on Friday, May 6, after weather front that produced thunderstorms and strong...

May 07, 2016

Major sandstorm sweeps through northwest China

A major sandstorm has swept through parts of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on May 1, 2016, and continued into May 2, disrupting traffic and causing severe air pollution. The sandstorm has struck some counties in south Xinjiang since Saturday...

May 02, 2016

Massive dust storm sweeps through Kathmandu, Nepal

A massive dust storm engulfed Kathmandu, Nepal for 45 minutes on March 28, 2016, injuring, at least, a half a dozen people and causing traffic chaos. For the past one week, Kathmandu and many other parts of the country have been shrouded in a blanket of haze, with...

March 28, 2016

Beijing issues a red alert for hazardous smog pollution for the second time ever

Residents of China are experiencing another wave of severe smog pollution since December 18, 2015. The smog conditions have prompted Beijing authorities to issued its second red alert in the history, as hazardous conditions have been expected to last more than three...

December 21, 2015

Low to moderate air pollution levels expected as Saharan dust sweeps UK

The southerly air flow from Sahara, Africa brought a thin band of dust over parts of UK on December 16, 2015, Met Office reports. Numerous monitoring stations have detected the dust just above the surface since. The conditions are expected to last only a couple of...

December 17, 2015

Red alert for smog pollution issued in Beijing, China

A red alert for smog pollution was issued for in Beijing, China on December 8, 2015. The warning was put in effect in order to "protect public health and reduce levels of heavy air pollution", according to the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection...

December 08, 2015

Large dust storm clouds Phoenix, Arizona

A large dust storm swept the US Arizona's capital of Phoenix on October 16, 2015, media reports. The cloud system was hovering about 1 500 m (4 921 feet) above the ground, packing winds of 100 km/h (62 mph) and was followed by a strong thunderstorm. Video...

October 18, 2015

Satellite tracks Saharan dust to Amazon in 3D

For the first time, a NASA satellite has quantified in three dimensions how much dust makes the trans-Atlantic journey from the Sahara Desert to the Amazon rainforest. Among this dust is phosphorus, an essential nutrient that acts like a fertilizer, which the Amazon dep

February 24, 2015

Saharan dust on the move across Atlantic Ocean

Disturbances such as large thunderstorm complexes or simply strong trade winds over North Africa periodically result in vast dust and sand storms, some of which extend as high as 6 000 meters. These can be driven out to sea within the Saharan Air Layer

July 05, 2014

Massive thunderstorm backed by dry dusty winds hit Indian capital

At least nine people were killed in and around New Delhi, India, when a massive thunderstorm brought down trees and cut off power on May 30, 2014. Most of the deaths were caused by the falling trees or collapsing walls.A massive thunderstorm backed by dry 

May 30, 2014

Massive sandstorm hits northwest China

Massive sandstorm in northwest China is transporting large sand deposits from Taklimakan Desert in western China and the Gobi desert in the east, through Gansu Province and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. A very large front is moving eastward across Asia,...

April 25, 2014

Dangerous air pollution hit Iceland's capital

Reykjavík and other parts of Iceland recorded 40 times the upper safe limit of pollution levels on February 19/20, 2014. The pollution levels haven't been so high since the last volcanic eruptions in 2010-2011. However, this time it is not ash that

February 21, 2014

Air pollution in northeastern China reached hazardous levels

A cold front has sent temperatures plummeting in most northeastern Chinese provinces, causing fog and haze to linger across the region. Agricultural fires in the region in the fall,  following the harvest, also influenced levels of smog. Since

October 24, 2013

Outdoor air pollution a leading cause of cancer

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), WHO's agency specialized for cancer, announced on October 16, 2013 that it has classified outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). The world’s leading experts

October 18, 2013

Air pollution levels in Europe raise concern - 88% of city dwellers exposed to levels that breach UN standars

In its annual report on European air quality (Air quality in Europe - 2013 report) released on October 16, 2013, The European Environment Agency (EAA) raised concern over Particulate matter (PM), which is microscopic specks of dust and soot caused by

October 16, 2013

Saharan dust cloud travels across Atlantic

NOAA's satellites have detected a plume of dust moving off the coast of Africa. The Saharan Air Layer has a relatively constrained area of high concentration. This animation bellow, released by NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory, uses a recently enhanced

July 31, 2013