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According to the Met Office, “blood rain” is caused by Saharan dust mixing with rain leaving a reddish residue on buildings and cars.

A huge Saharan dust cloud is expected to bring 'blood rain' to the UK as the country basks in what could be the hottest day of the year.

Weather experts say that temperatures could soar to up to 19 degrees Celsius in parts of the country on Thursday.

This will make it hotter than Barcelona and Ibiza.

Officials warn we could be in for high air pollution in the South East as southerly winds sweep dust from the Saharan region northwards.

Met Office spokesman Marco Petagna said parts of Kent and the far South East would see the highest levels of pollution, reports the Birmingham Mail.

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“On Thursday, dust from the Sahara region was lifted up into the atmosphere”, he said.

Read more: 2016 set to be hottest year on record worldwide thanks to 'global warming and El Nino'

“At the moment, certainly across the south of the UK, we’ve got southerly winds that’s allowed that dust to transport northwards towards the UK.

“And with outbreaks of rain developing at times over the next couple of days, some of that will get washed out of the atmosphere and give a slight deposit of dust on cars.”

The pollution could pose a potential health risk to vulnerable groups.

 

 
 A woman wearing an anti-pollution mask rides a bicycle at Hyde Park Corner
Getty Images

The pollution could pose a potential health risk to vulnerable groups

At-risk individuals, including those with lung and heart problems, should “reduce strenuous physical exertion” if they are in an affected area, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said.

Read more: England basks in hottest day of the year but storms are on the way

The last time there was a warning over Saharan dust in the West Midlands was in December, when it was feared it would bring toxic smog and “blood rain.”

The West Midlands was said to be at ‘moderate’ risk of the smog and “blood rain” - which is caused by Saharan dust mixing with rain leaving a reddish residue on buildings and cars.

This phenomena is more common in southern European areas, such as Spain and the south of France, however due the dust can travel as far as Scandinavia.

 

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