Massive Saharan dust plume headed for Caribbean

Another massive cloud of Saharan dust is headed towards the Caribbean with dangerously poor air quality predicted in the coming week.

A seven-day model by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says air quality will be impacted with hazy days and colourful sunsets likely. Additionally, it said potential breathing problems and other respiratory issues for vulnerable people are possible.

Based on the model, the dust plume is certain for the Gulf of Mexico with the finest particles to reach southern Florida around 5:00 a.m. tomorrow, July 26. Heavier dust will follow in the days after.

Each year, plumes of dust travel from the Sahara desert Across the Atlantic Ocean and to the Caribbean and North America.

While the phenomenon is normal, this year’s has been thickest seen since the start of satellite monitoring some 40 years ago.

The dust particles are rich in iron and phosphorous, making it good for plants. However, it can be hazardous to human health, causing breathing issues if inhaled.