Hazy skies from Saharan Dust



Have you noticed the hazy/milky skies today? That’s not just from high clouds, but there’s also a layer of dust high in the sky as well.

The dust in the air originated from the Saharan Desert! This dust makes up what is often referred to as the Saharan Air Layer. This layer forms from strong easterly winds lifting dust from Saharan Desert on the African Continent and those winds push the dust west into the Atlantic. If the winds are strong enough and there’s enough dust, it can make it all the way here, like we’re seeing today.

Saharan Dust reaching the Gulf of Mexico is nothing too uncommon. This is the second time in as many weeks we’ve had an offshoot of the dust move towards the Gulf Coast! The benefit of this layer is that it effectively suppresses tropical development. One of the negatives though is since it’s over our coast, it may trigger some allergies. Also, on a day like today, the milky/hazy sky can add to the greenhouse effect, which is why it’s so hot!

Last night’s sunset enhanced from Saharan Dust

This dust is nothing to be worried about, but it’s neat to see something from so far away influence our skies!

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