Saharan dust plume turns the skies dark in the Caribbean and the historic dust plume will soon stretch into the US

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2020-06-24 13:24:37

On Tuesday, this sunset enhancing, blue sky limiting, tropical threat reducing dust plume continues its 5,000-mile journey toward the US.

But before it does, it is leaving these pristine islands with a few more days with one the most significant dust events seen in the Caribbean.

Aerosols, measured in PM10, at Mayol-Bracero’s research station in northeastern Puerto Rico, have never reached the levels they have seen the past few days. Records at this station go back 15 years.

It is unusual that the dust is forecast to travel over central America and the US with such high concentrations, Claire Ryder, NERC Independent Research Fellow at the University of Reading, told CNN Weather.

“Usually by the time dust from the Sahara has traveled this far, much of it has been dispersed and/or deposited to the ocean so that typically this long-range transport to the Americas would involve much lower concentrations,” Ryder said.

At the same time, these smaller dust storms were happening. The African Easterly Jet, strong winds higher in the atmosphere which usually transports dust westwards, was anomalously weak this June.

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