Saharan dust plume to impact conditions in Kansas City over weekend

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured this visible image of the large light brown plume of Saharan dust over the North Atlantic Ocean

A few more potential impacts include a dusty haze appearance to the sky during the day, a reduction to air quality, as well as dimmer sunsets and sunrises. Several of these thunderstorms caused downdrafts and large-scale haboobs (dust storms) to develop. Saharan dust is taking over the United States this week and it's coming to the Ohio Valley!

Dust from the Sahara Desert gets lofted into the sky and travels with the trade winds, close to the equator, east to west across the Atlantic Ocean.

Meaning a larger amount of dust than usual was able to accumulate just off the west coast of Africa. Send us your photos, you may see yours on air!

It's even visible from the International Space Station.

These massive clouds of Saharan dust, or Saharan air layers (SAL), are an annual summer occurrence, but this particular cloud is the densest in 50 years. Wonderful how large an area it covers!


Every year, about 800 million tons of dust is picked up by the wind from deserts in North Africa and blown across the Atlantic Ocean, traveling to the Amazon River Basin in South America, beaches in the Caribbean and, in part, into the air in North and South America.

"Hazy skies and low visibilities will continue today as a significant Saharan dust event continues across the islands", the National Weather Service in San Juan said Tuesday morning.

The Saharan dust to a hurricane is nothing more than extremely dry air.

NASA satellites measure the intensity of dust clouds with the Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) metric, which indicates the degree to which aerosols prevent the transmission of light through the atmosphere.

The particles can also make their way to ground level, potentially affecting those with dust allergies.

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