HEALTH experts have ramped up warnings for vulnerable people to be on alert over the next three days as Saharan dust smothers Britain.
Officials extended alerts across the country as a plume of “deadly” pollution sweeps in from Africa and the Continent on Thursday.
A blast of warm air laden with irritant particles will send temperatures rocketing to 17C (63F) – 14C above average and hotter than Sydney in Australia.
It prompted forecasters to hint that this Christmas could be the warmest on record as spring flowers burst into bloom and bees wake up from hibernation.
But instead of snow Britain now faces gales and torrential downpours mixed with red desert sand from the Sahara that threaten a deluge of ‘blood rain’.
People with asthma and other health conditions have been warned to stay indoors and avoid strenuous activity.
The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has widened warnings across England and Wales with alerts now in place for the weekend.
A “perfect storm” of warm air dragged in from the south threatens a spate of deadly asthma attacks with millions at risk.
Worst hit will be southern and eastern parts although the entire country will see some impact from the suffocating toxic cloud.
Defra has issued a level-7 alert – on a scale of low (level 1) to very high (level 10) – for the region with moderate effects elsewhere.