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ArchGuy1
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Saharan Dust Coming to the United States

Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:40 am

The Saharan Dust coming from West Africa is leading to brown haze over the Caribbean and is on it's way to the United States. This plume was driven by several smaller storm systems in West Africa and led to a large amount of dust being lifted into the atmosphere. It is scheduled to arrive in Texas on Friday and then head to the Mid Atlantic region. It will turn blue sky into a brownish color that will create spectacular sunrises and sunsets, limit the potential for tropical storms, and increase dust allergies. It is a very historic event and a huge sight to see.
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stl07
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Re: Saharan Dust Coming to the United States

Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:44 am

Let's keep deforesting around the desert in Africa and elsewhere, a little more dust won't harm us

/s
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flipdewaf
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Re: Saharan Dust Coming to the United States

Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:54 am

I remember a similar phenomenon in the UK a few years ago, the sky was yellow/orange all day and the cars covered in dust.

My hunch is it’s more interesting than dangerous in anyway, certainly not a sign of climate change.

Enjoy your sunsets and take some nice pics for us.

Fred


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Aesma
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Re: Saharan Dust Coming to the United States

Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:08 am

The Sahara isn't new and wind isn't new so yes this has happened before. Climate change is making the Sahara bigger and drier so these might happen more frequently and be more severe.
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fr8mech
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Re: Saharan Dust Coming to the United States

Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:13 am

Happens all the time. This one is bigger than average. One site I saw said it's the biggest in 50 or so years. Another reason to wear a mask, in the affected areas.

I remember some of these dust clouds coming across the Med in the 80's while vacationing in Greece. My aunt hated them. Could never keep the patios and verandas clean.
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WildcatYXU
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Re: Saharan Dust Coming to the United States

Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:32 am

It looked more gray than brown to me. Just like a winter day in YXU. Except for the temperature, of course. When it started Sunday morning, it looked like increasing haze. The visibility gradually became much shorter and the sea looked gray. It was like that Monday and partly on Tuesday.
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Saharan Dust Coming to the United States

Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:31 pm

Aesma wrote:
The Sahara isn't new and wind isn't new so yes this has happened before. Climate change is making the Sahara bigger and drier so these might happen more frequently and be more severe.

Jury is still out on how the Sahara is doing. If anything, it's the Sahel (the region between the lush tropical forests and the arid desert) that's expanding. When wet, it's covered in grass (which can keep particles grounded); when it's dry, it allows particles to be carried by the wind.

Some research suggests that climate change may allow parts of the Sahara to be green (which would mean a reduced desert landscape), but whether it's because of the Sahel growing into the desert or actually becoming green and fertile is not known.

That being said: this is not a new phenomenon. A dust cloud of this magnitude has rarely been seen, but these dust clouds are common during the summer months and evidence goes back to colonial times. It's been suggested that these dust clouds are beneficial to agriculture in the Caribbean as sediments carry nutrients for the soil.
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WildcatYXU
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Re: Saharan Dust Coming to the United States

Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:19 pm

It is much better today. The sky is (almost) blue. But I still couldn't see Vieques and St. Thomas this morning.
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trpmb6
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Re: Saharan Dust Coming to the United States

Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:53 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
Aesma wrote:
The Sahara isn't new and wind isn't new so yes this has happened before. Climate change is making the Sahara bigger and drier so these might happen more frequently and be more severe.

Jury is still out on how the Sahara is doing. If anything, it's the Sahel (the region between the lush tropical forests and the arid desert) that's expanding. When wet, it's covered in grass (which can keep particles grounded); when it's dry, it allows particles to be carried by the wind.

Some research suggests that climate change may allow parts of the Sahara to be green (which would mean a reduced desert landscape), but whether it's because of the Sahel growing into the desert or actually becoming green and fertile is not known.

That being said: this is not a new phenomenon. A dust cloud of this magnitude has rarely been seen, but these dust clouds are common during the summer months and evidence goes back to colonial times. It's been suggested that these dust clouds are beneficial to agriculture in the Caribbean as sediments carry nutrients for the soil.


Well said, I came to post exactly this. It further demonstrates how complex the various ecosystems around the world are, and how complex their interaction with the world is.

Also of note, it is said this large block of dryer air traveling across the atlantic will help weaken our hurricane season. It's also important to note that the rainforests of South America greatly depend upon the injection of material from the sahara winds.

This is actually a very important event on our very complex, yet small blue marble.
 
NIKV69
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Re: Saharan Dust Coming to the United States

Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:10 pm

That is one big Haboob!
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continental004
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Re: Saharan Dust Coming to the United States

Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:01 pm

I was in Tenerife in February when the calima (Saharan dust) hit the Canaries. It was....an experience. The sky was dusty with low visibility. I even got dust up my nose. Meanwhile Carnaval still carried on.
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Saharan Dust Coming to the United States

Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:39 pm

Those dust clouds are the worst. I remember growing up in PR and going through summers where these dust clouds would sometimes come stronger than usual. The Sun would be slightly covered, so that you could look up and not get burned. But there would be no clouds in the sky and the humidity and saturation of the air made it impossible to sweat which made the day feel VERY hot. On top of that, allergies and asthma would make a comeback. These were days with a runny nose and itchy throat...ugh! Just looking at the pictures brings back memories and sensation of that.
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