“Blood rain” a term used for rain carrying sand from desert. When the rain falls it looks a reddish colour and when it dries off it leaves a thin layer of dust which can also be red, hence the name. It is capable of coating houses, cars and garden furniture. Storms in the Sahara desert, which is around 2,000 miles away, are usually responsible for stirring up dust blown towards the UK.The current winds arriving in the country are part of the band of warm air which is predicted to bring unseasonably warm temperatures over the next few days, followed by rain in some areas.
The rain and the fine layer of dust left after it falls can also be other colours. “The different coloured sands in the Sahara mean the rain and the coating it leaves can vary in colour,” says weather expert Philip Eden.”It can be reddish, but it is quite rare. It is more likely to be a sandy colour or brown. It’s not as spectacular as it sounds.””Blood rain” happens a few times a year in the UK, say experts.
It is more common in southern Europe like Spain and the South of France, which are closer to the Sahara. But it can travel longer distances and fall in areas like Scandinavia.A well-documented incident of “blood rain” happened in 2001 in the southern Indian state of Kerala.In the middle of a monsoon red rain started to fall and did so intermittently for several weeks. The colour was strong enough to stain clothes. There were also reports of green, yellow, brown and black rains.Investigations suggested the rain was red because winds had stirred up dust from the Arabian Peninsula. Although another theory explored even suggested some sort of life form had fallen from the skies. It was reported at the time that Godfrey Louis, a physicist at Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, concluded samples left over from the rains did not contain dust and instead had “a clear biological appearance”.