There’s a monster dust storm whipping up a mess in the Caribbean that’s moving north towards the United States. It’s called a “Saharan Dust Layer” and it’s not something we see a whole lot in the U.S. but it actually happens a few times every summer worldwide. What is it and what will it do? Watch the video below or keep reading!
So what’s up with the Saharan Dust Layer? It’s actually dust and sand particles pulled up from Africa by the trade winds and pushed out over the Atlantic Ocean. Those winds will push a mighty swarm of particles into the Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico. It will then dissipate across the United States getting further inland than you might think. Meteorologist Brian Ivey is super geeked out about it, and if you are in those areas, your Covid-19 face masks may come in extra-handy!
Actually, the Saharan Dust Layer might seem like a dangerous thing for air quality, but most of the dust stays 5,000 to 20,000 feet above land so it doesn’t usually hinder breathing or irritate people with allergies. In fact, it has some good effects instead… It helps reduce the threat of tropical storms for a bit by adding a layer of very dry air to the atmosphere, plus it brews up some awesome sunsets so keep an eye out for that!
We’ve seen quite a bit of rain over the last couple of weeks in the East and Upper Midwest. Other parts of the country have been very dry. This week is expected to be pretty quiet as well across most of the U.S. until the weekend when we could see some rain in the Ohio Valley and portions of the West. Tuesday a more significant system is expected to kick up some heavy downpours in the Memphis area. The precipitation is expected to remain scattered – primarily in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys.
Aside from the excitement of the Saharan Dust Layer sweeping across the United States, it’s not expected to be an exciting weather week. Just watch for spotty rain and the potential for storms around Memphis early next week.
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