“Blood rain” forecast for North Rhine-Westphalia

“Blood rain” forecast for North Rhine-Westphalia

Don’t worry, "blood rain" is less dystopian than it sounds. A mix of Saharan dust and rain is set to cross North Rhine-Westphalia, meaning showers could appear deep red in colour.

Saharan dust and rain to cross parts of Germany

Temperatures are hotting up across Germany, and North Rhine-Westphalia is set to see a weather phenomenon colloquially known as “blood rain” over the next few days.

Blood rain occurs when high concentrations of red-coloured dust, such as desert dust, are mixed in with rain, making the rain appear red when it falls.

In Europe, this happens when strong winds carry desert dust, often from northern Africa, for thousands of miles at very high altitudes. Eventually, gravity pulls the dust back down to the ground, or it gets caught in rain clouds and mixes with water, turning into blood rain.

Blood rain likely to leave minimal traces in NRW

In other parts of the world, blood rain with a very high concentration of red dust has been strong enough to stain clothing or remain a vibrant red once rainwater has settled in puddles.

However, the blood rain forecast to cover Germany’s most populous state in the coming days is unlikely to be so dramatic.

The Saharan dust may cause particularly striking sunsets and locals in North Rhine-Westphalia may notice the effects of blood rain on their cars. Blood rain can leave a film of dust on vehicles once the rain has fallen and the water has evaporated.

Thumb image credit: Andrey Abryutin /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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