Saharan dust: Why cars across Halifax, Wakefield and Dewsbury have been covered in dust and how NOT to clean it off

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West Yorkshire has been hit by an unusual weather phenomenon.

Despite it raining overnight, many people have woken up today (Thursday) to find their cars covered in dust.

The reason is Saharan dust, which has arrived because of the recent heatwave.

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According to the Met Office, it is a mixture of sand and dust from the Sahara in North Africa.

People across the area have been waking up to find their cars covered in dustPeople across the area have been waking up to find their cars covered in dust
People across the area have been waking up to find their cars covered in dust

Once it is lifted from the ground by strong winds, clouds of dust can reach very high altitudes and be transported worldwide, covering thousands of miles – even as far as the UK.

Last night’s rain will have collected particles of dust on the way down. When the raindrops land on something and eventually evaporate, they leave behind a layer of dust.

Motoring experts have been giving advice on how to clean the dust off – and what not to do.

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A garage in Shropshire has said: “Do not try and rub it away with your hand or a cloth or anything contact-based.

"It is Saharan sand that has landed as part of this recent heat wave and is very abrasive and will scratch the life out of your paintwork.

"Thoroughly rinse your vehicle down ideally with a pre-wash before soaking in a snow foam soak and thoroughly rinsing.

"We would possibly recommend a second snow foam hit to ensure full removal before any type of contact wash.”