Southeast Spain looks like Mars due to a calima

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PROVINCIA DE ALICANTE – “I don’t know if I live in Elche or Mars,” it said on Twitter on Monday. The calima, which hits the provinces of Almeria, Murcia, Alicante, and Valencia on Monday, March 14, produces spectacular photos that all have the color orange in common.

The apocalypse hasn’t arrived yet, but it looks like it is. The sky in southeastern Spain turned orange this Monday due to the effect of the calima. That is a natural meteorological phenomenon that predicts rain of mud more than major disasters, according to the Spanish weather institute Aemet.


The special, and also somewhat disturbing color is caused by an “exceptional” air mass filled with dust from the Sahara desert. The phenomenon calima has not been this intense in this area of ​​Spain for decades. So says the president of the Spanish Association of Geographers (AGE) and professor of the University of Alicante (UA), Jorge Olcina.

Storm Celia

During a calima, the atmosphere is filled with small solid particles in suspension, consisting of dust or sand, which cause the orange-red color, according to

The calima of Saharan dust is propelled by Storm Celia with cloudy spells in its wake. Rain falls in the form of mud from those clouds, confirms Mediaset meteorologist Rosemary Walker.

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The orange cloud will spread further across the peninsula from Tuesday. And the worst is not the rain of mud, but that the calima also affects the quality of the air. To counteract the effects of this, it is recommended to put on an ffp-2 mask.

Beautiful pictures

On social media, countless inhabitants of the above-mentioned areas referred to the ‘Martian’ spectacle. They shared some spectacular images. Like @Juanvig88: “Calima and Almeria”. It’s not a filter. Seriously, it’s not a filter,” he writes under a photo of an orange street scene from Almeria (see also the photo on this page).

The phenomenon of calima is a regular occurrence in the Canary Islands. It is actually a huge cloud of dust from the Sahara that is blown to other areas by the wind. After all, they are only a few hundred kilometres from the largest desert on earth as the crow flies. In mainland Spain, calima is less common.

@_victor28._ captioned a photo on Twitter: “I don’t know if I live in Elche or on Mars”.

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