Blowing in the wind

The world’s winds have wonderfully evocative names. The khamsin blows in Egypt for fifty dry, dusty days from late April. The chinook, named after a Native American tribe, blows a warm, dry wind through the Rocky Mountains. The mistral, meaning master wind, blows strong and cold through Southern France and the Mediterranean.

Blowing from the desert across West Africa towards the Atlantic from late November until March is the HARMATTAN.

Harmattan is thought to share its origins with the word ‘harem’. They come from the Arabic haram meaning forbidden or prohibited. This wind carries choking dust and is sometimes so dry that plants wither and those living in its path find their skin to be peeling.