Large Sahara dust cloud moving 5,000 miles towards Caribbean

AccuWeather: Crimson sunrises and sunsets will paint the Caribbean this week from dust.

An “abnormally large dust cloud” from the Sahara is making about a 5,000-mile trek across the Atlantic, heralding the chance of red sunrises and sunsets across the Gulf Coast and suppressing tropical development in the Atlantic Basin. However, it may also pose a possible health hazard.

The fine particles of dust in the atmosphere could provide spectacular sunsets across Florida and the Caribbean. The light refracts more at sunset and this will give off a deep red or orange color. During the day, if conditions are dry, the sky may appear hazed over, with an orange and brownish tinge possible. However, if rain occurs the precipitation will cleanse the air and there is a small chance that some of the dust could become trapped inside rain droplets which could lead to isolated patches of muddy rain.

Although it isn’t uncommon for the Trade Winds to carry dust from the Sahara to the Gulf Coast, this plume has caught the attention of a few meteorologists.

“According to scientists that I have gotten some information from, they’re saying this is an abnormally large dust cloud,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist and lead hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski told AccuWeather’s Jonathan Petramala. “One of the things I noticed from this is the dust started coming off the coast of Africa several days ago, in fact maybe over a week ago. And it’s still coming. It’s almost like a prolonged area of dust.”

Dust making this journey from the Sahara to the Gulf Coast is common during June, July and sometimes into early August. Picked up by the Trade Winds and lofted higher up into the atmosphere, the dust gets trapped as the wind spirits it away across the Atlantic.

“This is the dusty time of the year,” Kottlowski said. This year, he believes a stronger-than-normal, or at least a very active, African easterly jet might be at play in spurring the abnormal dust plume.

As the dust is carried across the Atlantic, it tends to suppress tropical development.

“It keeps a lid on the atmosphere and brings dry air into anything that may try to develop, which is very detrimental for tropical development which relies on warm, moist air,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert said.

However, dust is rarely a factor during the later months of the Atlantic hurricane season — August, September and October — when storms become more active.

“Dust tends to be much less of a problem during the heart of the hurricane season,” Kottlowski said.

However, while the dust can suppress development, it doesn’t kill any development entirely, Kottlowski warned. It’s still possible for a tropical wave to clear out a large area of the dust, allowing a second tropical wave following in its wake to take advantage of the break in the dust pattern.

There doesn’t seem to be a break in this dust pattern just yet though.

“I was amazed that the dust is still coming off the coast,” Kottlowski said. “You don’t see a break in it, so it’s just a sort of long-lasting area of dust. We’re going to see hazy skies across the Caribbean, probably into Florida into parts of the Gulf of Mexico area, probably for a week or two.”

The dust is expected to reach the Gulf Coast between Tuesday and Thursday, Kottlowski estimated. With the hazy skies, the sun’s rays will have to bend around the dust particles as sunlight filters through the sky, creating vivid red sunrises and sunsets.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Coronavirus and that Heavy Cloud of Dust Coming to the Caribbean from the Sahara Desert.The Hurricane is on also

  2. We fishermen has known this weather phenomenon for many years …we call it tan blanche . we ask the government to help by giving us tax breaks on GPS and compasses to help navigate during this kind of weather up till now no response . most tax breaks goes to the tourism industry .

  3. Oh poor Caribbean nations; mother nature is not being nice to you. The Sahara Desert
    a place for many millennia where wars have left tens of thousands of both human, horses
    and other animals dead and carcasses left to rut above and shallowly below the ground
    surface, many it is thought at time of death were carriers of various diseases, their remains
    mixed with the sands of that once vast ocean bed. Year after year desert storms are raged
    some greater than the other, carries with it that deadly desert dust to the Caribbean Basin
    and Central America. The mix is not healthy and with that present Pandemic, it’s bad news.
    So, is there an answer? maybe, since Jesus once commanded the storms to be still, why
    don’t we step out in faith, and all believers join each other in daily worship and just ‘Ask Him’.

  4. I am not saying he is the cause of it, but from the time Chastanet got himself Prime minister of st Lucia all these things are happening to us. He promised to make us safebut still we are not. I don’t have a visa ut i want to go to America, Can we travel without a visa? This was a canpaign promise,

  5. Lang caca…. I got up this morning under the weather but just reading your comment put the brightness smile on my face!!

  6. Yes, Lord fulfillment of the bible attacking us little bit little. Help us lord to continue to believe in you and not in government or prime minister. You or God and God only . I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. So lord I won’t loss faith in you no matter how rough or tuff things might I know one day for sure all these things will be OVER IN THE MIGHT NAME OF JESUS. As it was written in the bible that no-one knows the time or the hour of your coming and I know you’re drawing closers to us. Thank you Jesus for allowing me to see light on this matchless earth, thank you lord, thank you.

  7. So you want to go to America? then, don’t let anyone stop you, you are welcomed
    go to Florida, New York, Texas, in fact go anywhere you want, but stay the hell away
    from me. It seems that since it is anticipated that Elections may be called, the name
    of this P.M. is to be blamed for every ill that becomes not only St.Lucia but the world.
    Well brother, you haven’t seen anything yet. Keep him or change him, the ‘Times’ are
    such that the very heavens that you look with naked eyes (not of spiritual eyes) will
    shake you at the knees, the heart and the head(brains) and may cause your death.
    Because you look more to the things of the world, like politics more than the Divine,
    What was spoken to you all in my ‘Word’ will come to you at a time that you least
    expect; like a thief in the night; you may want to cuss me, because you spent your
    time not on me, to understand, but on the things and persons that perish on earth.
    Severe Hurricanes one after another, Earth quakes, Volcanic tremors, seas rage with
    great fear to both commerce and domestic fishing. I do not want to raise fear at all
    but I do not want to be anymore constrained and not speaking out. So I urge you by
    that which is the truth – in the name of Jesus the Christ of the Almighty God, spend
    whatever little time you have here before ‘He’ comes: Choose who you want as your God.

  8. ๐ŸŒซ๏ธ๐ŸŒช๏ธ๐ŸŒ€โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒง๏ธ๐ŸŒˆโšก๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒ™๐ŸŒ

  9. Locust is back in all parts of Africa mainly in the eastern regions, Egypt, Kenya, Sudan
    and strangely, mainly in the predominant Muslim countries. Locust is not new to these
    parts, but at a time such as this when science and modern methods of agriculture is
    available, and spraying is done 24/7 the locusts have the advantage, breeding like no
    ones business. So as it was with Pharaoh, so it seems to be at a time such as this. The
    little Pharaohs of today are on notice that their time is up. Europe bans Americans coming
    no one wants them around, the country is being dissolved from within, so is Russia, China
    the U.K. etc.But a new Kingdom is on the horizon, not with Moses, but the king of Kings.

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