Saharan dust plume

It happens from time to time every year in the Summer, just to varying degrees. But the plume of dust coming off North Africa is unusually large, bigger than the U.S. and Europe.

The latest satellite image of the huge dust plume is shown above from Africa to the Caribbean.

The dry dusty air mass can hinder tropical storm development and produce hazy skies and spectacular sunrises and sunsets (especially vivid reds) when it reaches your area.

Known as the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) the dust plume will make the 5,000 mile journey to parts of the Southern United States this week, carried by the East to West moving Trade Winds, reaching the Atlanta area by the coming weekend and lasting into early the following week.

Sometimes a portion of the dust can be mixed down to earth by vertical air currents and of course rained out by showers and thunderstorms. On the other hand if there is enough dust it can help inhibit the formation of thunderstorms and increase sunshine.

As seen from space:

As seen from earth (Puerto Rico):

SAL FORECAST FROM NASA GEOS-5 DUST MODEL FRIDAY/SATURDAY:

For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.

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