Anyone’s who’s watched the opening scene of Blade might find the idea of blood rain slightly worrying.
But luckily there’s nothing sinister about the rust-brown showers that will fall on the country this weekend, with the unusual weather caused when red dust is suspended in droplets of water.
What is blood rain?
Blood rain is the term used for water carrying sand from the desert. It has a reddish colour when it falls and the thin layer of dust it leaves on the ground when it dries is also a red-brown.
In the UK, storms in the Sahara desert are usually responsible for stirring up the dust that reaches our shores. Incidents of blood rain in Britain are usually short-lived. In other parts of the world, it can be dramatic. The blood rain that fell on parts of India for two months in 2011 was so thick that it stained clothes.
A number of ancient texts make reference to blood rain, which was believed to be actual blood and considered an omen of death and destruction. The god Zeus famously rained blood rain on the Achaean lines in Homer’s Iliad, causing the troops to panic and be slaughtered by the Trojans.
The South-East and eastern part of England will see high levels of pollution as a result of the showers, but this is expected to be brief, with Atlantic winds pushing the dust eastwards by Saturday afternoon at the latest, Defra said.
‘People could find yellow or brown dust from the Sahara on their cars on Saturday morning,’ Met Office forecaster Dan Williams told the Telegraph.
Health officials have warned adults and children with heart or lung problems to take care during the period of high pollution and for older people to avoid strenuous activity.
‘This is expected to clear on Saturday and pollution levels will return to low throughout the morning,’ a Defra spokeswoman said.
And no. Blood rain isn’t like this:
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