Weather Blog: Sahara dust reaching CSRA

Sahara Dust Outlook
Sahara Dust Outlook
Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 6:30 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - If you notice hazy skies later on this week and into the weekend, it’s likely being caused from dust that has traveled over 4,000 miles from the Sahara Desert in Africa.

The area of dust is so large, it could be seen from space. Check out the photo below from NASA Astronaut Doug Hurley. Hurley arrived to the space station on SpaceX’s Demo 2 test flight at the end of May.

Check out some additional photos from NASA’s GOES-East weather satellite. You can really make out the area of dust in the Caribbean Sea.

The Barbados Meteorological Services even issued a Severe Dust Haze Warning until 6:00 p.m. local time today due to the level of dust moving into their region.

The dust is being carried by the trade winds and is expected to reach us here in the CSRA as we wrap up the work week and move into the weekend. One of the benefits to the layer of dust is it helps to suppress the risk for tropical development. The dry air that is associated with dust limits the chances for thunderstorms to develop which are precursors for tropical development. NOAA and the National Hurricane Center are still forecasting an above-average hurricane season. The presence of the dust could postpone the development of additional tropical systems from forming in the Caribbean Sea as well as the Eastern Atlantic until later-on this summer. Keep in mind, though, the typical peak of hurricane season isn’t until early September.

The Hurricane Season typically peaks in early September.
The Hurricane Season typically peaks in early September.(WRDW)

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