tds_animation_stack India Saharan mud plume: The skies are darkish within the Caribbean and the...

Saharan mud plume: The skies are darkish within the Caribbean and the historic mud plume will quickly stretch into the US

Over the weekend, Saharan dust moved into the Caribbean. By Monday, it had modified the tropical blue skies right into a hazy brown-gray coloration.

On Tuesday, this sundown enhancing, blue sky limiting, tropical risk lowering mud plume continues its 5,000-mile journey towards the US.

But earlier than it does, it’s leaving these pristine islands with a number of extra days with one probably the most vital mud occasions seen within the Caribbean.

“It is definitely historic,” Olga Mayol-Bracero, a researcher on the University of Puerto Rico advised CNN Weather. “We knew we were going to be in an extraordinary situation.”

Many of her colleagues throughout the Caribbean mentioned they haven’t seen air high quality circumstances this dangerous of their whole careers.

Aerosols, measured in PM10, at Mayol-Bracero’s analysis station in northeastern Puerto Rico, have by no means reached the degrees they’ve seen the previous few days. Records at this station return 15 years.

It is uncommon that the mud is forecast to journey over central America and the US with such excessive concentrations, Claire Ryder, NERC Independent Research Fellow on the University of Reading, advised 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 mentioned.

The preliminary mud outbreak was pushed by a number of completely different smaller storm methods over central and west Africa. Several of those thunderstorms brought on downdrafts and large-scale haboobs (mud storms) to develop. This led to a considerable amount of mud being uplifted into the ambiance from the Sahara, based on Ryder.

At the identical time, these smaller mud storms have been occurring. The African Easterly Jet, sturdy winds larger within the ambiance which often transports mud westwards, was anomalously weak this June.

Meaning a bigger quantity of mud than typical was capable of accumulate simply off the west coast of Africa. It was capable of then was transported westwards in a really dense plume when the jet picked up velocity once more.

This improve in mud thickness has led to the soiled trying skies seen throughout the Caribbean and the traditionally poor air high quality.

Areas of the Caribbean known for their pristine water and blue skies turned a brownish-gray in Puerto Rico on Monday.

“It’s certainly the most intense, large-scale dust event I have ever seen,” Ryder mentioned.

The mud layer is so thick you’ll be able to see it on climate satellites. Astronauts have additionally gotten view of it from the worldwide area station.

“We flew over this Saharan mud plume at present within the west central Atlantic,’ Astronaut Doug Hurly tweeted on Sunday. “Amazing how massive an space it covers!”

“Hazy skies and low visibilities will proceed at present as a big Saharan mud occasion continues throughout the islands,” the National Weather Service in San Juan said Tuesday morning.

The Saharan dust will reach the US by Thursday morning

On Wednesday, the dust is forecast to move across the Gulf of Mexico toward Texas.

This dust forecast shows the predicted conditions on Thursday. Darker browns are an indication of where the thickest dust layer will be found.

Thursday morning, people in places like Brownsville in Texas and Houston will likely wake up to a beautiful sunrise and a hazier than normal sky.

Forecast models don’t show the thicker concentration blanketing most of Central America and Mexico Thursday.

This dust forecast shows the predicted conditions on Sunday. Darker browns are an indication of where the thickest dust layer will be found.

This thicker layer is likely to reach Texas by Friday and then take a turn to the east. If the forecast model is right, it will move over most of the Southeast and MidAtlantic states over the weekend.

Once it arrives, here are the top 3 ways you’ll notice next week’s Saharan dust in the US, wrote CNN meteorologist Tyler Mauldin.

A difference in the sky

One of the first things you’ll notice when the Saharan dust layer arrives is that your typical blue sky will have more of a milky haze to it.

That milky haze is the Saharan dust. Those tiny dust particles lofted tens of thousands of feet in the air do a great job of scattering the sun’s rays at dusk and dawn, too, which gives way to stunning sunrises and sunsets.

So, grab those cameras!

Less tropical activity in the Atlantic

The Saharan dust to a hurricane is nothing more than extremely dry air. Hurricanes hate dry air. A hurricane needs a hot, humid and calm environment.

As long as the Saharan dust is around … it’s likely you’ll see the National Hurricane Center watching fewer areas in the tropics.

Dust plume allergies

The tiny dust particles that give way to beautiful sunrises and sunsets and help suppress hurricane development don’t always stay at 30,000 feet. Sometimes particles can make their way to the surface, greatly affecting those with sensitive allergies.

If you find yourself reaching for a tissue this week — or your iPhone to post yet another awesome sunset pic to Instagram — thank the Saharan dust.

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