Saharan Dust Cloud Expected to Make Its Way to Ohio Valley This Weekend

The cloud is unusually dense, but on the bright side, we can expect stunning sunrises and sunsets due to the “scattered sunlight” refracting vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow and pink

click to enlarge Saharan dust plume, seen by the NOAA-20 satellite on June 17, 2020 - Photo: NOAA
Photo: NOAA
Saharan dust plume, seen by the NOAA-20 satellite on June 17, 2020

Saharan dust makes its way to Ohio this week, as it does every year, but this time we can expect to see more than we are used to.

The Saharan Air Layer, or “plume,” made up of 800 million metric tons of dust particles — according to NASA — is visible from the International Space Station and can be seen on satellite images.

This past weekend, the plume made its way across the Caribbean, darkening skies and causing record level air quality warnings. 

Health specialists have warned those struggling COVID-19-related respiratory symptoms to stay indoors and use air filters if available.

The plume will likely move into the Ohio Valley this weekend, predicts the Weather Channel and NOAA, also noting that the dust is "unusually dense." 


Cleveland's National Weather Service also tweeted:


On the bright side, we can expect stunning sunrises and sunsets due to the “scattered sunlight,” refracting vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow and pink.

"Dust plumes like these typically become less concentrated the farther to the west they move," weather.com senior meteorologist Chris Dolce said. "But the dust might at least contribute to hazy skies in some areas of the U.S. There could also be brilliant sunrises and sunsets."

 

 

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