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Pungent pong blamed on European winds

PUBLISHED: 11:06 19 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:11 05 July 2010

A FOUL pong which hung over parts of East Anglia on Friday has been blamed on winds bringing pungent fumes from across the Channel.

Residents in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire were among those to report the manure-like smell which was said to have spread as far inland as Northamptonshire and as far west as Devon.

A FOUL pong which hung over parts of East Anglia on Friday has been blamed on winds bringing pungent fumes from across the Channel.

Residents in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire were among those to report the manure-like smell which was said to have spread as far inland as Northamptonshire and as far west as Devon.

The Met Office said the smell is believed to have been caused by a combination of agricultural and industrial pollution carried on the wind from Northern Europe.

Jim Bacon, from the UEA-based Weatherquest, agreed saying pig sheds could be the possible source. And there is unlikely to be any respite from the smell until next week.

Sarah Holland, a forecaster for the Met Office, said: “Over the last few days, fresh winds have been blowing eastwards.

“The origins of the smell come from Europe and have brought in pollution.

“When the wind blows from the west, it is coming from the Atlantic so it brings in virtually no pollution, but when it is eastwards it is coming across land.”

Weather experts were trying to locate the source of the aroma but another theory is that the smell of muck-spreading from mainland Europe has been carried on the wind to the UK.

Barry Gromett, of the Met Office, compared the smell to the frequent depositing of Saharan dust in the UK during rain storms in the summer.

He said: “We are no wiser as to the actual source but air quality monitors have reported no increase in pollutants.

“We have performed some back trajectories using our dispersion model and there are some rogue sources identified.

“It is from a remote source and being transported to the UK on an easterly wind. If you think of how Saharan dust is deposited on cars and buildings following rain in the summer, we have something similar here.”

Paul Knightley, from the Press Association weather centre, said: “With the atmosphere being as it is at the moment, air is being trapped in the lowest kilometre, meaning that it is not mixing with the upper air.

“There is a potential for people to still smell what we've got at the moment, particularly in East Anglia, possibly into Monday.”

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