Barbados braces for surge of Saharan dust expected this weekend

Barbados’s Meteorological Services (BMS) has issued a dust haze advisory for the island.

According to the BMS, a plume of Saharan dust is forecast to significantly affect Barbados and the marine area from Saturday, February 20.

The forecasters said slight hazy conditions can be expected from tomorrow afternoon and become progressively thicker into Saturday night and Sunday.

The BMS has advised residents, visitors, and marine users to take action, as a “significant reduction in visibility is either likely or [is] already occurring.”

It cautioned citizens with respiratory issues or allergies to ensure that they travel with, or have close at hand, all prescribed medications.

“Marine users should monitor the situation closely, along with the forecast for any further deterioration,” the BMS said.

The dust outbreak is commonly known as the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), and happens every year when millions of tons of dust are picked up from the deserts of Africa and blown across the Atlantic Ocean. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the SAL is most common during the hurricane season.