Saharan Dust Put The Dimmer On Iceland's "First Day Of Summer" - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Saharan Dust Put The Dimmer On Iceland’s “First Day Of Summer”

Published April 26, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by

If you felt betrayed by reports of sunny skies that were supposed to appear yesterday, don’t blame the weather office; blame the Sahara.

As reported, yesterday was the Icelandic holiday known as “the first day of summer”, intended to ring out the long, miserable winter and embrace the increase of sunlight and warmer temperatures. While the day is normally replete with rain and cold wind, this year promised to bring double-digit temperatures, light winds, and—most important and rarest of all—sunny skies for the entire country.

Much of the country was cautiously optimistic at this rare forecast. While we did experience light winds and warm temperatures, sunlight was far more elusive. The Icelandic Met Office has provided an explanation: the Saharan dust storm that has been sweeping over Europe.

In fact, Saharan dust was significantly measurable in the greater Reykjavík area, as particule air pollution rose into unhealthy levels by yesterday afternoon.

This being the case, we cannot blame Iceland’s characteristically unpredictable weather for dashing our hopes and dreams; at least, not in this instance.

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