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Saharan Dust From Africa to Arrive in Texas Skies This Month

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Tony Maples Photography


Similar to an incident that occurred in West Texas in 2018, a large cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert is expected to be carried to the Lone Star State by a strong jet stream. The dust is traveling over the Atlantic Ocean and is anticipated to be in Southeast and Central Texas by Thursday, June 25, 2020.

Saharan Dust From Africa to Arrive in Texas Skies This Month

Photo: @alisonanoble via Twenty20

This dust cloud doesn’t signify anything bad. In fact, it signifies calm conditions in the tropics, as these outbreaks are caused by the same jet stream that forms the tropical waves the weather forecasters track over the course of hurricane season. As a result of its arrival, those with dust sensitivities may experience an itchy nose, throat, and eyes. Many Texans will feel it before seeing it, as it has been known to result in visibly hazy sunsets and light coatings on vehicles. It’s anticipated to fully settle by August, when we’ve reached the height of hurricane season.

Saharan Dust From Africa to Arrive in Texas Skies This Month

Photo: @Chantelle via Twenty20

Texas isn’t the only locale through which the Saharan dust will pass. The cloud will reach from the African coast through the Caribbean Sea and touch parts of Central America and Venezuela. According to a report from 2018, such instances aren’t uncommon. Plumes of this dust have been tracked by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, reporting that hundreds of millions of tons of soil are lifted each year from the Sahara and carried across the Atlantic. Although there are currently no reports that indicate the levels at which the dust will appear in 2020, Texans with sensitivities are advised to prepare for symptoms.  On a more positive note, it has been reported by NASA that this type of occurrence has also been known to prevent the development of hurricanes. What are your thoughts on the coming dirt cloud?