A gift from the Sahara: Dust clouds and vivid skies

Isla Mujeres at dusk after a Friday rainstorm. Photo: Mark Callum
  • Isla Mujeres at dusk after a Friday rainstorm. Photo: Mark Callum

Trade winds have delivered large dust cloud that now stretches from the Sahara Desert all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

In Yucatán, camera bugs are sharing photos of orange-red skies that emerge as a result.

Because of the way rays hit the particles, sunrises and sunsets may be more dramatic. But allergies and asthma may also flare up in sensitive individuals.

 

Water temperatures remain well below normal, and last week’s tropical rains have cooled Gulf waters.

Coming from agricultural areas of the Sahara, the dust clouds travel 7,500 kilometers/4,660 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, and hit various regions in the southern United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

How is it possible that this dust reaches our area so far from the desert? Blame (or give credit to) intense sandstorms in West Africa. The particles reach great heights and get caught in air currents heading west.

The phenomenon is expected to last for several more days.

The swath of dry, dusty air is usually a signal that activity in the deep tropics will be minimal for the next couple of weeks. The National Hurricane Center in Miami shows no tropical development over the next several days.

Sources: Meteorología Yucatán, KTRK-TV

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