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What is Calima weather in Spain [and is it dangerous?]

What is Calima weather in Spain [and is it dangerous?]

What is Calima weather?

Calima weather in Spain is a weather phenomenon that results in the skies turning orange red in colour due to dust particles carried north from the Sahara desert. Translated as ‘haze’ in English, Calima can reduce air quality significantly and lead to the ground behing covered in dust.

It arrived in mid March 2022, we’d experienced it several times before but normaly later in the year and not quite as threatening as this. The skies turned a burn’t terracotta brown/red, it almost looked like a nuclear winter with the sun struggling to make any kind of appearance during the three day coverage before it eventually began to rain.

calima sahara red dust storm
Calima orange

While the rain began to clear the air it also made a right old mess of, well, pretty much everything, it also began raining mud with even slight drizzle collecting up the Saharan dust on it’s way down ready to cover whatever you were wearing in ‘mud’.

During the week a lot of people were asking what is Calima weather? and… is it dangerous? Any reduction in air quality can be dangerous especially for those most susceptable to breathing ailments, the air quality in Spain that week hit the top spot in the world for the worst air quality beating even India and China.

what is calima weather in spain
calima
overlanding during dust storm

The advice? If you must venture outdoors wear a face mask [FFP2 are the ones to go for], avoid driving too if you can as this makes the air quality issue even worse as emissions have nowhere to go.

storm dust
calima phenomenon
sahara dust

If you are driving outside or have been caught out by ‘Calima’ on your trip give your air filter some attention and a good clean, your vehicle will thank you for it.

Further reading: Springtime in Andalucia

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1800 1200 Mac

Mac

K90overland is Mac and Gayle, they lived in Andalucia for 19 years before moving back to the UK. Overlanding since 2019 the pair have built up a 'budget rig' and now enjoy a relaxed approach to discovering Scotland and the north of England.

Mac
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