Massive dust cloud heading toward US may dim the sky this weekend

Olde Hornet

Well-Known Member

utbursts of Canadian wildfire smoke have filled the sky over the eastern United States in recent weeks, but a new airborne danger from a different source is approaching from the tropics.

AccuWeather meteorologists are tracking several large clouds of dust from Africa's Sahara Desert that are currently drifting over the Atlantic Ocean. The immense clouds have the potential to traverse the entire ocean and reduce air quality across the Caribbean and the southeastern United States in the coming days.

The Saharan dust is so dense and widespread that it could be seen from space on Thursday. NOAA's GOES-EAST weather satellite spotted the first cloud of dust over the eastern Caribbean Sea and the Lesser Antilles, with an even bigger plume of dust emerging off the coast of Africa.

A satellite image of the tropical Atlantic Ocean on Thursday, July 6, 2023. A cloud of Saharan dust could be seen over the eastern Caribbean Sea, while another dust cloud was emerging off the coast of Africa. (NOAA/GOES-EAST)
"Saharan dust is common most years across parts of the Atlantic basin and sometimes spreads as far west as the Caribbean and Florida," said AccuWeather Director of Forecast Operations Dan DePodwin. "The location and magnitude of the dust changes frequently throughout the season."

Forecasters warn that while the dust is not a particularly rare occurrence, it could still impact people across the Southeast in the coming days.