FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Each year from about mid-June through September, dust from the Saharan Desert in Africa hitches a ride in the atmosphere and comes to the United States.
The fine particles get transported by trade winds that are located near the Earth’s equator.
Believe it or not, 182 million tons of dust makes this 5,000 mile journey.
The #SaharanDust I tweeted about yesterday is expected to reach the #Caribbean by the weekend according to NASA/GMAO GEOS model. This should make for some incredible sunrise/sunsets. pic.twitter.com/Ftiey8cxJL
— Mike Watson (@MWatsonSurfline) June 16, 2020
The dust plume will lose some concentration as it travels across the Atlantic Ocean.
However, there will be enough dust for folks in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and the southeast U.S. to see.
The arrival of the dust along the Gulf Coast and the southeast should be around June 23rd while the Caribbean will see it this weekend.
#GOESEast reveals a Saharan Air Layer (SAL) streaming off the coast of Africa today. Dry dusty air in SALs suppresses tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic Basin. Learn about satellite products that can track SAL via the CIMSS Satellite Blog at https://t.co/Oo1mYHAcIg pic.twitter.com/q7jmy3JcyB
— UW-Madison CIMSS (@UWCIMSS) June 15, 2020
Air quality and breathing issues will arise, especially for those who have respiratory problems.
The dust actually isn’t all bad.
Some of the dust will get deposited in the Caribbean which helps to build up the beaches.
It also keeps tropical systems from forming!
The dust causes very dry layers in the atmosphere which is opposite of what tropical systems need.
The dust will also create vivid sunrises and sunsets.
According to the National Weather Service in Huston, the area will see red and orange skies.
Dusty weather possible next week as large cloud of Saharan dust moves across the Atlantic this week - moving into Southeast Texas next Tuesday. If this dust reaches the area we should expect some red skies at sunrise and sunset for a few days and probably drier weather as well. pic.twitter.com/PBryuSJGuB
— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) June 16, 2020