A Saharan dust cloud heading towards the United States brings a ray of hope
A vast area of dust crosses the Atlantic Ocean from Africa. The big cloud of dust will have a big positive effect on the American weather.
Here is a look at the dust storm blowing westward off the Sahara Desert and moving over the Atlantic Ocean.
This is a fairly common occurrence. It seems to happen a few times a year. The most recent satellites allow us to see when these large clouds of dust form and blow over the Atlantic Ocean. The image above is from June 15, 2020 and shows a huge area of dust moving west across the Atlantic.
Dust means a very dry layer in the atmosphere, and hurricanes don’t like dry air. We have discovered that tropical weather systems, including hurricanes, have a hard time forming in a dry atmosphere. Anytime we see one of these dust storms moving west across the Atlantic, we know that the tropical systems will likely be suppressed during the passage of the dust. It even appears that the dry effects may linger for about a week after the dust cloud has passed across the Atlantic.
An improved satellite image gives you a good idea of the size of the dust cloud on June 15th.
While it is at the start of hurricane season, we have already had three named storms. Now, with the dust in the air, the tropics will calm down. Here is the five-day forecast from the National Hurricane Center.
Over the next five days, there is only one area of interest for tropical systems, and it has less than a 40 percent chance of forming.
A tweet from Greg Diamond of The Weather Channel shows the expected movement of the dust cloud. Tap the play arrow on the video to see the movement.
By looking at several models, we can have a calm tropical weather system over the Atlantic for at least two weeks.
The dust is usually mostly dispersed by the time the cloud reaches the southern states of the United States, such as Florida and Texas, which have reported stunning sunsets due to the dust in the air. Here in Michigan we probably won’t have sunrise and sunset beautification because of the dust. We are touched by the remnants of tropical systems. So a calm tropical climate affects Michigan in one way or another.
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