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June 26, 2020

Saharan Dust Plume Heads to the US

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A huge Sahara dust plume is getting closer to the United States. Once it arrives, it will provide beautiful sky views along with potential health hazards.

Throughout the week, a massive Saharan dust plume made its way over the Caribbean and is now getting closer to the Gulf states. It's called the Saharan Air Layer. 

The phenomenon will still be over the islands this weekend. Many of the lesser Antilles have already showcased skies covered in gray as the dust reached them. 

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Gulf states expected to be affected include Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia. There's good and bad to what's happening. First off, the dust significantly decreases the potential for storm formation. 

According to an outlet, the dry air leads to 50% less moisture than the annual average during the hurricane season. This dry air results in the production of more downdrafts, which weaken tropical storms. 

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On the downside, the increase in dust in the air might irritate some as it enters their eyes and nose. Young children, the elderly, and persons suffering from respiratory problems may be severely affected. 

As of Wednesday, the dust plum was approaching the Gulf of Mexico. It is expected to hit Texas Thursday into Friday. Afterward, predictions place it over the Tennesse Valley and areas of the Southeast. 

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The dust plume is unprecedented, being the largest of its kind in recent years. It was formed by heavy wind storms in the Sahara desert and is carried over by the trade winds near the equator. 

This particular dust mass is a feat of nature because it usually disappears before it reaches the Caribbean islands. There'll be some remarkable sunsets and sunrises as a result. 

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While being mindful of allergy triggers and heavy air pollution, it might be possible to enjoy gorgeous skies due to the dust plume. Vibrant red, orange, and yellow shades form from the dust bouncing off sunlight.

Elsewhere, the US recently endured a different force of nature. Over in Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana, six people were killed by destructive tornado storms back in April

Several more were injured when the tornados ruined parts of Onalaska, and the Walker, and Poly Counties. Buildings received lots of structural damage, while power stations were knocked out. Volunteers chipped in to help recovery.

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