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    Weather Alert – Saharan Dust Storm Heading Towards Poland

    Poland braces for its first significant desert dust incident of the year as Sahara’s awakening meets cold fronts, triggering sand mobilization. Researchers from SolarAOT predict the peak on March 1-2.

    What to Expect

    SolarAOT warns of a notable sand influx, with models projecting a substantial sand presence in the atmosphere. The maximum optical thickness is expected to be around 0.3 on March 1-2, potentially visible on car windshields or giving the sky a bright white hue if no clouds obstruct the view.

    Meteorological Confirmation

    The Institute of Meteorology and Water Management (IMGW-PIB, Meteorological Modeling Center) echoes SolarAOT’s findings. They anticipate Friday to be particularly unique, possibly marking the warmest day of the week.

    Grzegorz Walijewski, IMGW spokesperson, explains that strong winds over the Sahara lift dust and sand into the atmosphere. Atmospheric pressure conditions over Europe and Africa then guide the particles toward our continent.

    While the dust is generally harmless in low concentrations, individuals with respiratory issues like asthma should exercise caution. Walijewski emphasizes that those with lung diseases or upper respiratory problems should stay vigilant, as the dust could pose a threat to their health.

    SolarAOT – A Key Research Hub

    SolarAOT, located in Strzyżów (Podkarpackie Voivodeship), has been operational for two decades. The station focuses on studying climate change and physical processes related to atmospheric aerosols, offering valuable insights into the impact of suspended particles on climate. SolarAOT is an integral part of the national research network Poland-AOD since 2011 and the international AERONET network since 2013. Its strategic location away from local pollution sources makes it a unique observation point, studying aerosols transported from various regions worldwide.

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