The first wave of the Saharan dust ‘cloud’ arrived earlier on Monday (June 22) and already, the forecast from the Jamaica Meteorological Service sees dry, windy and hazy conditions persisting throughout the rest of the week.
According to a statement at 4:00 pm, the Met Sevice noted that complied with the ongoing dust spell, a low-level jet stream will continue to propel the plume eastward as it concludes a week-long trek across the tropical Atlantic from Africa.
“Expect hazy conditions to persist as a result of the Sahara dust throughout the period. Additionally, strong winds associated with the low-level jet stream is expected to affect the island over the next few days,” the statement read.
For tonight, the Met Service says it expects mainly fair and windy conditions across southern parishes, with the outlook for tomorrow to be mainly sunny, hazy and windy.
The local weather watchdog further noted that the phenomenon could continue well into next Monday, June 29.
Speaking on the dust spell via Twitter, Met Service Director Even Thompson indicated that the plume will greatly exacerbate the just-beginning summer heat, making days and possibly nights unbearable.
“Well what we should expect from the Saharan air layer is as it moves across the Caribbean, as it covers the Jamaica area, we will see that increase in dust particles suspended in the atmosphere. There will be an increase in the hazy conditions in the country; we will also notice there will be some depositing on surfaces,” Thompson explained.
“We’re also expecting there will be a trapping of the heat close to the surface of the Earth and so we could see an increase in temperatures. We also see that this kind of occurrence will inhibit the development of rainfall activity; it somewhat suppresses that. It will more [be] dry, dusty, warm conditions – not very favourable,” he added.