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The mystery of the red dust which has been appearing across South West Wales has been solved - and the answer lies a long way away. Residents from Swansea to Neath and Crynant in the Dulais Valley found their homes and cars covered in the grime.

Many pointed the finger at pollution, but according to weather experts the dusty downpour was rather more exotic in origin - sand from the Sahara Desert.

John Copner, from Ridgeway, Killay was one of those left to clean up the mess.

"There was orangey-brown stuff all over the place," he said. "Everything was plastered with it.

"When I put the windscreen wipers on the car, it looked like I had driven through mud. And it is all over the house - I've got to wash all the windows now."

The sand appeared during Wednesday and Thursday morning, leaving a fine reddish coating on anything it touched.

A Swansea Council spokeswoman said the authority had got to the bottom of the problem after it was contacted by the Swansea Marina manager following reports of red dust covering boats.

"Having consulted the Met Office, we believe the substance is likely to be Saharan dust," he said.

"Current weather patterns mean the dust has been swept up from North Africa, transferred over part of the North Atlantic and deposited on some western parts of the UK."

Gower weather expert John Powell said the red sand had made an unseasonal appearance.

"This is something you would expect during the summer months," he said.

"The sand would have been carried here in very high-level winds, then washed out by heavy rain."

NOTE: Bottom line here is that no one in the UK really knows for sure where the red dust is really coming from
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