Extreme Weather - Sandstorms

Sandstorm

A sandstorm, also known as a dust storm, typically occurs after strong winds lift a significant amount of sand and dust from dry solids into the atmosphere. Sandstorms take place in dry areas where a significant amount of sand is present.

Sandstorms can reach heights of more than 10,000 feet and can move as quickly as 25 mph. Sandstorms tend to form quickly and make vision and hearing impaired for those in the affected areas.

Sand in Dubai

Earlier this month an Australian photographer, Irenaeus Herok, visited Dubai and took his drone to the desert. He captured nature at its finest and documented aerial photos that show the desert slowly absorbing highways and settlements in the Emirates. Dubai is known for sandstorms and these images show the high levels of sand in the city.

Take a look at some of Irenaeus' images on his Instagram account.

How are Sandstorms Formed?

Sandstorms are formed as a result of strong wind blowing over loose sand or soil - a significant amount of this soil gets picked up and reduces visibility as the air becomes filled with sand particles. The wide area of loose sand within deserts makes them a prime destination for these events to take place. In fact, there are certain times in the year where sandstorms are more likely going to form as a result of strong winds and lack of moisture in the atmosphere.

The Impact of Sandstorms

Sandstorms are well known for causing many harmful effects, especially in terms of the environment, economy and health of the local population. Some of these effects include:

  • Asthma
    Sandstroms put the lives of those with asthma at risk. If a large amount of sand or dust is to get into a sufferers airway, their lung function will become impaired and the airflow may get blocked.
  • Dust Pneumonia
    Dust pneumonia occurs as a result of dust filling the lungs, some common side effects of this include;
    • Chest pain
    • High fever
    • Coughing
    • Difficulty breathing
  • Driving
    Sandstorms also hold many potential life-threatening effects when it comes to driving as vision can become impaired, which heightens the risk of road traffic accidents and dust may also clog air filters within vehicles. If the particles get into your car, you will be inside a small area filled with dangerous air.

Staying Safe

Sandstorms occur as a result of nature, and are largely unavoidable, meaning warnings must be made to alert the public in the locations at risk and residents must be provided with information on how to keep themselves safe during this natural occurrence to avoid mistakenly putting their lives at risk.


2EA® are registered Low Carbon Energy Assessors, Consultants and ESOS Lead Assessors, offering both energy management and reduction services ranging from CCL/CHPQA Management to Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) consultancy.

For more information, please contact us either by email to info@2ea.co.uk or by calling 01293 521 350.

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