‘The most significant event in 50 years’: the US is a giant dust cloud

Air quality drops to dangerous levels as to the United States after transatlantic travel is approaching the big cloud of dust for several decades, writes The Guardian.

'Самое значительное событие за 50 лет': на США движется гигантское пылевое облако

Photo: Shutterstock

A huge cloud of dust from the Sahara desert already covered Caribbean island and sent to the United States of such size and concentration, which, according to experts, was not observed in over half a century.

The air quality in much of the region reached a record “hazardous” level, and the experts, who called it “a dust cloud of Godzilla”, and warned people to stay indoors and use air filters, if any.

“This is the most significant event in the last 50 years,’ said Pablo Mendez Lazaro, a specialist in environmental health at the University of Puerto Rico. — Conditions dangerous on many Caribbean Islands”.

Many experts in the field of public health concerned with the health of people who are struggling with symptoms of coronavirus, since most of these symptoms associated with the breath. Lazaro, who works with NASA on creating a system alert about the movement of dust clouds, said that in recent days the concentration was so high that could even have an adverse effect on healthy people.

During the passage of the cloud from Antigua to Trinidad and Tobago was was extremely foggy conditions and limited visibility. Some people posted their photos on social networks in double masks for protection against coronavirus and dust, while others joked that the Caribbean sea looks like it was filmed with a yellow filter.

The ground is extremely dry and dusty air known as air Sahara layer is formed over the Sahara desert. According to the National oceanic and atmospheric administration, it crosses the North Atlantic every three to five days in the period from late spring to early fall in the Northern hemisphere, reaching its peak in late June to mid August. The layer may be a thickness of 3 km, the Agency said.

Much of the dust concentration first reached Puerto Rico and the U.S. virgin Islands on Monday, 22 June, not only blurring the sky, but giving it a milky white colour. Visibility at the airport on the island of Santa Cruz in the virgin Islands, the United States fell to 3 miles (<5 km) and were limited to 5 miles (8 km) in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

On Tuesday, June 23, meteorologists from NOAA published in Twitter an animated satellite images, which is a huge dust plume moving across the Atlantic within five days. The images shown below were obtained by the satellite GOES-16.

It is predicted that Thursday and Friday (25 and 26 June), the system will reach the northeast. The sky over Eastern Texas could fill more than a concentrated dust — it will happen on Friday, June 26, or from Friday evening to Saturday, June 27. As in the Caribbean, it is expected that the dust will reduce visibility and poor air quality in the direction from East Texas to Louisiana.

“Those who are sensitive to poor air quality, should closely monitor the local reports about this,’ said AccuWeather senior meteorologist and leading expert on hurricanes Dan Kottlowski. In the end, the dust will flow to other States on the Gulf coast around the Western and then Northern periphery of the high pressure region in the Northern part of the Gulf of Mexico”.

Residents of the southern regions of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and parts of Florida are likely to see a foggy sky and face the decline in the quality of the air in the coming weekend (27 and 28 August) and early next week.

According to Kottlowski when dust moves to the West, part of it will precipitate or spread out, becoming less concentrated. With the decrease in the level of dust exposure is likely to be not as dramatic as in Puerto Rico.

“However, it’s still unusual, and people will notice some haze and the sky a milky shade for most part of Friday, Saturday and Sunday (26, 27 and 28 June) over the Eastern Texas,” said Kottlowski.

“Air quality may also be reduced to moderate or unhealthy this weekend due to dust in South and East Texas, said Kottlowski. — Thus, people with breathing problems should not be spending long periods of time outdoors. Some people with severe respiratory illness can just want to stay in the room”.

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