Friday 24 May, 2019

Saharan dust update: Another increase likely by Thursday

Stock image

Stock image

The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service says the Saharan dust will maintain a mild presence over the next few days, but another increase is likely by Thursday.

The Met Office posted the update to its Facebook page on Sunday.

Vulnerable groups such as asthma suffers, children and the elderly are urged to take the necessary precautions.

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.

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