Monday 24 February, 2020

Dusty Christmas? Met Office says Saharan Dust here till next week

Looks like Saharan Dust will be here 'for the Christmas'. 

According to the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service, Saharan Dust is in the atmosphere and should be here until next week. 

"Please be advised that Saharan dust is currently present in the atmosphere and is likely to maintain a presence into next week. This event may not be as significant as others in the past, but it can impact persons that are sensitive," the Met Office said in a social media post

"...Keep in mind that cloud cover and moisture at certain layers of the atmosphere can result in apparent "gaps" in the dust plume," the Met Office said. 

Anyone with sinus-related issues is advised to take the necessary precautions. 

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What is Saharan Dust?

Saharan dust is composed of sand and other mineral particles that are swept up in air currents and pushed over the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico and other nearby regions.

As the dust-laden air moves, it creates a temperature inversion which in turn tends to prevent cloud -- and eventually -- storm formation.

It means fewer storms and even hurricanes are less likely to strike when the dust is present.

Normally, hundreds of millions of tons of dust are picked up from the deserts of Africa and blown across the Atlantic Ocean each year.

That dust helps build beaches in the Caribbean and fertilizes soils in the Amazon. It affects air quality in North and South America.

It likely plays a role in the suppression of hurricanes and the decline of coral reefs as well. 

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