yellow sky, dust from the hot Sahara and 40 degrees arriving in the Tyrrhenian Sea

yellow sky, dust from the hot Sahara and 40 degrees arriving in the Tyrrhenian Sea
yellow sky, dust from the hot Sahara and 40 degrees arriving in the Tyrrhenian Sea

Anyone who has already washed their car may start to despair. Those who plan to do so, however, should wait a little longer. Because within a few days he could find it completely covered in desert dust Sahara. In Tuscany, among Wednesday 19th And Thursday 20 June, “yellow skies” and 40 degrees arrive. A wave with an African flavor will hit the region.

Great heat

A promontory of hot air of African origin will hit Tuscany starting from Wednesday 19 June, causing temperatures to soar above 35 degrees. In many areas they will even touch the 40 degrees. Taking stock of the situation is the Lamma Consortium, an organization that monitors climate and atmospheric evolution in the region on behalf of the Civil Protection of Tuscany. «Between Wednesday the 19th and Friday 21 June Very hot air masses of desert origin – explains Lamma – will reach Italy driven by intense southern winds at medium tropospheric altitudes (between 3000 and 5000 metres)».

Yellow sky

Until at least Friday the 21st it will be very hot, as explained previously. But the sky will not be clear. Indeed, it will appear yellowish in color due to the desert dust that will be carried in the air by the southern currents. Lamma explains: «This flow, triggered by the presence of a deep depression vortex on the Iberian Peninsula, will transport large quantities of Saharan dust giving rise to an intrusion of anomalous proportions. The extension of the phenomenon and the dust concentrations predicted by the dispersion models are, in fact, considered unusual. Between Friday 20 and Saturday 21 June the vortex over Spain will move to France and then move to Eastern Europe; the transit of the disturbance will favor the rotation of the winds in the western quadrants, putting an end to the intrusion of desert dust on Italy and Tuscany”.

The curiosity

Lamma then analyzes a curiosity: «We must talk about “dust” and not sand. The latter is in fact too heavy and coarse (between approximately 0.1 mm and 2 mm) to be transported up to medium tropospheric altitudes by vertical motions and winds. The smallest particles, on the contrary, if inserted into a sufficiently intense flow, are able to overcome the force of gravity and can travel thousands of kilometers before settling. Saharan dust – Lamma continues – is rich in micronutrients that are essential for both plants (phosphorus) and marine photosynthetic organisms (iron). The months in which there is the greatest frequency of Saharan intrusions on central-northern Italy and the Alpine region are May, June and October. The episode expected in the next few days will be very intense, as we can see from the maps and graphs below. Dust contributes to the increase in PM10 concentrations in the area. Starting from Tuesday 18 June most of the dust is concentrated between 2000 and 3000m. On Wednesday 19th the estimated amount of dust increases significantly and begins to reach lower altitudes. Thursday 20th June represents the day of maximum intensity, both at altitude and on the ground and starting from the 21st it begins to decrease, although the values ​​are still quite high”.

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