Saharan dust drifting toward Midwest

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2020-06-24 15:23:16

(AP) – Dust is on the way to the United States this week making the more than 6,000-mile journey from the Sahara Desert.

This might seem to work against typical weather patterns, but dust in the United States from the Sahara happens every year. While it may not be abnormal to see the Saharan dust make its annual journey to the United States, we are expected to see more of it than usual.

Tiny individual dust particles combine to make a large plume so big that it can be picked up on satellite images and even be seen from the International Space Station.

The massive plume darkened the sky over parts of the Caribbean this past weekend and is projected to reach the southeast United States on Wednesday.

Air quality across most of the Caribbean fell to record “hazardous” levels and experts who nicknamed the event the “Godzilla dust cloud” warned people to stay indoors and use air filters if they have one.

“This is the most significant event in the past 50 years,” said Pablo Méndez Lázaro, an environmental health specialist with the University of Puerto Rico. “Conditions are dangerous in many Caribbean islands.”

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