Yesterday wasn’t as bright as a usual sunny day in Cyprus and to say the least it was very windy (fortunately warm winds) and all I could think of was that it was a great drying day for washings. Twenty minutes after putting my washing out it was dry – what more could I want. Later the wind died down and all was calm again in the evening. However, today is a different matter it is calm, the sun is out and temperatures sitting around 20 degrees, but it would appear to be very hazy looking towards the sea and mountains – it is of course the time for a coptic storm. The atmosphere today is full of dust particles and these have been known to hang around for a few days albeit sometimes they go unnoticed unless living high up in the hills.
When we first bought our home in Cyprus our neighbours used to say to us “wait until you see the dust from a Coptic Storm.” Of course having never actually heard of these storms I did some investigating.
- The storms are usually the result of convection currents created by intense heating of the ground in Africa. The air over the sand becomes hot and rises, and in the Sahara, the Coptic wind is strong enough to move dunes!
- These coptic storms happen several times a year . The dates show at the bottom of this page are fairly accurate within 2/3 days, most winds last between 2 and 6 days:- 11 January Gale (very strong)
19 January Large Feeder Gale
28 January Gale
18 February Small sun gale (very strong)
10 March Equinox Gale (lasts about 6 days)
20 March Big Sun Gale (very strong)
25 March Wind Gale
29 April Sand laden winds (hot and sunny)
27 September Cross-winds
21 October Crusade
28 November Broom Gale (very strong)
6 December Gale
20 December Small Gale
- The storm picks up the fine dust and sand from the Sahara and can be very destructive. Sometimes the gusts can even move large satellite dishes out of alignment and occasionally they bring a tornado with them, although this is rare. Although I said yesterday was windy it was nothing at all like what is mentioned here.
- The worst part is cleaning the dust and sand after a bad storm, currently it is just like normal dust that you would find in the UK however, sometimes it is red, and at other times it is yellow (the yellow dust has a sulphur like smell from it). My car today looks like someone has poured sand all over it!!
“Now where did I see that Car Wash!!”