It is not an unusual phenomenon. Sahara dust usually traverses long distances on the planet. However, this density was not reported 50 years ago. The effects are much more visible than normal in the cities and coasts you visit. It has already crossed the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Now the dust from the Sahara reaches the Pacific. NASA satellites offer a view of the giant cloud.
Watch the storm
Colin Seftor is an atmospheric researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He created pictures of the development of the storm. On June 23 and 24, the dust migrated across the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico to southern Texas. “At this moment, –Explained in a statement– The situation is getting more complicated. The absorbing sign of the aerosol index further north in Texas is probably a mixture of dust and smoke. It comes from the numerous fires in the southwestern United States. You can also see that the dust has entered the eastern Pacific. “
A animation combined the OMPS aerosol index and visible images from the Suomi NPP satellite. It was manufactured by NASA’s Goddard Center. It shows that the dust cloud that flowed from the west coast of Africa across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.
Aerosol particles absorb and scatter incident sunlight. This reduces visibility and increases the optical depth. Aerosol particles have an impact on human health and the climate. They occur in many events, including human activities. There is pollution from factories and natural processes like smoke from fires. Even volcanic ash.
Other cloud effects
NASA’s Earth Observatory saw the cloud stretch over 2,500 kilometers across the Atlantic. By June 24, it had spanned 7,500 kilometers.
Dust from Africa can affect air quality as far as North and South America if it is mixed to the ground. It can also play an important ecological role, such as fertilizing the soil in the Amazon region and building beaches in the Caribbean. They can also suppress the formation and intensification of tropical cyclones.
“The size and strength of this special event is quite unusual,” said Seftor. If you look from the African coast, you can also see another large cloud from the continent. It continues to drive the long chain of dust that moves across the Atlantic. “The dust from the Sahara is now reaching the Pacific but does not stop. Will it spin?