It appears to be Mars, but it is actually Spain. The sand covers ground, the cars and everything . and some even believe it is the end of the world. But, no, what’s going on isn’t nearly as spectacular. It’s the calima, or sand haze, a meteorological phenomena that, although leaving postcards depicting the end of the world, has a far more mundane reason.
The cause: a massive blanket of suspended dust from the Sahara desert that has blown into the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands, causing haze and impaired visibility for several days.
The Calima has covered the streets and roads of Cadiz with red dust from the Sahara desert.
Moreover, thousands of Cadiz residents opened their windows this morning to see a picture that seemed like it came from Mars or was apocalyptic. The meteorological phenomena of calima, which is common in the south of Spain and the Canary Islands.
How did sand from the Sahara desert make its way to Spain?
The climatic phenomenon of strong hot winds carrying sand dust from the Sahara desert is known as calima in Spain. It’s fairly prevalent, especially in the Canary Islands, an Atlantic archipelago off the coast of northwest Africa.
The present one is a very bad haze episode, with significant vision losses across much of the peninsula.
What exactly is Calima?
It is characterized by the presence of suspended sand, dust, ashes, or clay particles. These are usually small and numerous, causing the air to seem opaque and the sky to become foggy.
Furthermore, the development of haze or “mud rain” is attributed to a degradation of air quality caused by sand dragged by the Celia storm from the Sahara desert. This phenomenon is likely to remain until Wednesday afternoon, When the wind direction will change.
Because of its orange tint, it bears a “natural” likeness to the planet Mars. That is, sand particles from the Sahara desert, which have become more prevalent as the air quality has deteriorated.
In addition to decreasing air quality and reducing vision, the haze can have a negative impact on people’s health. People with asthma would be the most affected. Bronchospasms, respiratory crises, and asthma attacks are some of the other side effects of breathing the dust. Experts recommend to close windows, wear masks outside, drink plenty of water, and avoid outdoor exertion.
Besides, the worsening of air quality caused by the dust in suspension was enough to rank Spain as the most polluted country in the world on Tuesday.
What to do in Cadiz while there is Calima
As experts recommend to avoid outdoor activities while the Calima. Here are a few activities to do indoors that will help you know more about Cadiz culture.
- Explore the local gastronomy in tapas bars. You will discover the local markets, taverns (well known as Tabancos) secret spots where you will be able to taste Sherry Wine and local cuisine.
- Visit a winery and taste the famous sherry wine. An expert can explain you what makes the Sherry a unique wine in all its different varieties. And they will explain you the steps of its making process.
- Get to know the Andalusian gastronomy and one of its best products: the Iberian ham. Visit an Andalusian Dehesa and Ham Factory.
Moreover, you can also check our post about what to do in Cadiz if it rains, where you will find many other activites to do indoors, perfect for Calima time.