Saturday, February 2, 2013

Harmattan

Four weeks ago when I first flew into Lagos I noticed something odd. Even though I arrived while it was still daylight I didn't have a very good view of the city, and while you could see the sun in the sky you could also look directly at it without hurting your eyes at all. There was this weird haze over everything. I thought - especially after reading some other FS blogs and their horror stories about pollution - that Lagos must just have a really bad pollution problem. Luckily the haze has a much less sinister explanation - Harmattan.  I'll let Wikipedia do the explaining. 
The Harmattan is a dry and dusty West African trade wind. It blows south from the Sahara into the Gulf of Guinea between the end of November and the middle of March (winter). In some countries in West Africa, the heavy amount of dust in the air can severely limit visibility and block the sun for several days, comparable to a heavy fog.
See? Trade winds off the Sahara! That 's the romantic kind of haze. Way better than exhaust fumes from city buses or something.
 

 If this is the worst weather than winter has to throw at me then I can't complain.

**This is not to minimize the suffering of people who might be more adversely affected by the Harmattan, especially in northern Nigeria and Niger.**

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