Saharan Dust Cloud Update

(CIRA/NOAA image)

Dust carried aloft by hot dry air over the Sahara Desert continues to stream west into the Caribbean Sea.  In this image, a dense band of the airborne particles can be seen passing over the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and the Leeward Islands.  North of these islands, note the development of puffy white clouds outside the border of the dust storm.  The Saharan air mass appears to be effectively limiting convective cloud development within much of its course.  No hurricanes for now.

What is the impact of the Saharan dust cloud on the affected islands?  In Puerto Rico, the National Weather Service is forecasting visibility of four to eight miles in widespread haze through at least the next twenty-four hours.  For the coming several days, the forecast daily high temperatures are expected to be in the low eighties—several degrees cooler than the normal high eighties and low nineties.

Stay tuned, we’ll keep an eye on the plume as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico.

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