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Winter African Winds Howl, Bringing Surf And Red Dust To Istanbul

In Istanbul, as the sky turned a dusty orange, people lined the Bosporus to see the wind-driven waves break onto the shore. One young girl seemed fascinated by the unexpected surf. Peter Kenyon/NPR hide caption

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Peter Kenyon/NPR

In Istanbul, as the sky turned a dusty orange, people lined the Bosporus to see the wind-driven waves break onto the shore. One young girl seemed fascinated by the unexpected surf.

Peter Kenyon/NPR

It was a lodos weekend in Istanbul, as warm, dusty winds from Africa howled up the Bosporus, sending waves crashing over the shore and snatching houseplants and deck chairs off terraces.

Ferry traffic was interrupted, over 100 flights were canceled by Turkish Airlines and police reported that five people were killed and scores injured.

In Istanbul, as the sky turned a dusty orange, people lined the Bosporus to see the wind-driven waves break onto the shore. One young girl seemed fascinated by the unexpected surf:

Lodos is a Turkish variation of the Greek Notus, for southern wind. Something similar happens in Egypt, where the winds are called Khamasin, and they leave Cairo's streets and stray cats muddy and brown with soggy desert sand.