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Dust from the Sahara Desert Causes Haze in West Texas Skies Amid Record Temperatures

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Texas is known for its long, hot summers, but this year there’s been a twist on that which many probably couldn’t have foretold. Dust plumes which originated from the Sahara Desert are bringing abnormally hazy skies to parts of the state. “The haze is due to dust from the Sahara Desert being blown thousands of miles to the west,” AccuWeather meteorologist Dean DeVore recently confirmed to usatoday.com.

As a result of the Saharan dust, Texas’ air quality is now an immediate concern. “Combined with oppressive heat, the air quality will be like experiencing the desert itself,” meteorologist Ryan Maue of weather.us recently tweeted. Subsequently, AirNow has advised that “people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.”

Under African Skies: Texas Saharan Dust Haze Results in Record Temperatures

Photo: Pixabay

Media outlets are reporting that temperatures “…could reach record levels this week,” not only throughout Texas but also into Oklahoma and eastern parts of New Mexico. The resulting overnight lows won’t be offering any added relief in the meantime, with temperatures only expected to dip into the 70s and lower 80s.

Under African Skies: Texas Saharan Dust Haze Results in Record Temperatures

Photo: Bahrainweather.org

Plumes of Saharan dust coming across the Atlantic Ocean aren’t an uncommon event. In actuality, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that soil upwards of hundreds of millions of tons have been lifted from the Sahara annually, although the current levels appear to be one of the larger examples. According to NASA, a positive with this occurrence is that when this extremely dry dust from Africa hovers over the Atlantic Ocean, it can also prevent hurricanes from developing.