Get us in your inbox

Blood rain / sand storm London
Photograph: Shutterstock

What the hell is blood rain and why has it arrived in the UK?

Storm Celia has blown over a dust cloud from the Sahara desert

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

While you might think that blood rain is some kind of strange, nightmarish thing that probably happens at the end of the world, it is – usually – just an illusion. It’s what happens when rain mixes with red dust, making it look a bit like blood is gushing down from the heavens.

Excitingly, this afternoon the UK might actually get some blood rain. Storm Celia has blown a freakin’ huge cloud of sand up from the Sahara desert, which looks set to combine with a spot of rain (obviously – this is the UK, after all) to create some very surreal skies indeed.

England (from East Sussex, Kent and London all the way up to Leicestershire) can expect some seriously weird visuals. Celia has already swept up through much of Spain, Portugal and France, leaving some pretty startling snaps. Here are a few of those.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Brian Stone (@brianhstone)

So what are the likely effects of this blood rain? Well, nothing much, really. You might find a dusting of Saharan sand on your car. And be sure to watch out for the sunset – that’s when the sand is most visible, and it could look spectacular.  

Latest news