Today our Aegean island was like being in Los Angeles, USA--the air was brown. Last night there was a heavy wind from the South then it rained. Afterwards there is a heavy brown layer of dirt on everything. As we drove our mopeds into town we could taste it in the misty air. My jacket had dust in the seams and crevises.
This dirt, we are told, comes from North Africa. I can not imagine how many tons of soil is transported when just my moped has a measurable amount on it. Here is a scientific article that mentions up to 4,000 metric tons per hour: http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/subject/d/summaries/duststorms.jsp
The dirty rain is common whenever we have a strong South wind combined with rain, but the mist is unusal since it it is usually windy.
To follow up the Ferry Strike post: The strike ended yesterday but before the boats could sail the winds reached Beaufort 9 which means NO GO! So our friends got on to the ferry Thursday evening but didn't leave port until late Friday morning. We hope they see their tribulations as a cultural experience and not as a fiasco causing them to give up and return to organised British routine.
This just came in on Yahoo Alerts:
Red Fog Covers AtticaERT.gr Fri, 24 Feb 2006 2:13 AM PSTA thick cloud of dust has covered the Attica Basin, while the visibility in many parts of Greece is low. In addition, sandstorms were recorded on the island of Crete. The ships remain docked in the ports of Piraeus and Rafina due to the strong southern winds reaching 9 on the Beaufort scale.