Mystery behind ‘raining mud’ that left cars in Manchester filthy explained by Met Office

Good old Sahara.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 7th September 2023

People across Greater Manchester woke up today to find their cars mysteriously and absolutely filthy, so much so that it has now led the Met Office to confirm exactly what the cause was.

Mancs were all flummoxed this morning to find their vehicles looking dirty and dusty, with one person asking, ‘Did it rain mud?’.

Someone else said that it looked like the ‘Sahara Desert had been dropped in Manchester overnight’.

And it turns out, that person wasn’t actually too far off the mark.

The Met Office has explained the scientific reason behind all of our cars being so completely grubby today.


The service said that it’s because of a cloud of actual Saharan dust, carried up north by wind at altitude, before being brought back down to Earth by rain (and as we all know, Greater Manchester gets plenty of that).

Stephen Dixon, a Met Office spokesperson, said: “Saharan dust has been in the atmosphere around the UK in recent days.


“For Manchester, some of this has been rained out in early morning showers, which gives this ‘dirty’ look that some people will have noticed on their car this morning.

“The levels of Saharan dust is lower in concentration over the coming days, before moving away early next week.”

One person had asked on X, the platform previously known as Twitter: “Why did that tiny bit of rain in Manchester make my car so dirty?”


Someone else said: “Did it rain mud in Manchester or something, my car man.”

Another person said: “Every car is absolutely filthy today. Never ever seen as thick a coating of mud/dust as this.”

So, no, you’re not just really bad at washing your car or a scruffy get, in general — we’ll let you off this time. Still, might be time to get the hose out.

Read more:

For all the latest news, events and goings on in Greater Manchester, subscribe to The Manc newsletter HERE.

Featured Image — @Tom_Coulthard (via X)