SAN ANTONIO — Saharan dust makes a trek across the Atlantic Ocean multiple times each year and has a lot of benefits to it, but unfortunately, it also has a lot of negative impacts.
So, what is this "Saharan dust?"
Scientists with the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M said in an article the dust is composed of sand and other mineral particles.
Wind blows across the Sahara Desert in the summer months while there is an increased amount of heating in the region. The wind blows the Saharan dust over the Atlantic Ocean and sometimes that plume of dust will reach Texas.
For this week, a large plume of dust has made the trip across the Atlantic and will be impacting us.
There are good and bad things about Saharan dust.
The good things about Saharan dust:
- Hinders tropical development, which is welcome during the last two weeks of August and first two weeks of September as it is the time where some of the most historic hurricanes have hit the United States.
- Replenishes soil nutrients in the Amazon Rainforest.
- Makes for more colorful sunsets as more particles in the air allow for light to scatter more.
The bad things about Saharan dust:
- The dust can have a negative impact on people who have breathing problems, like asthma, as it impacts air quality.
- Leads to a haze developing in the sky over the region.
- Can cause "red tide" for coastal areas, which is an algae bloom that can harm marine life.
If the dust is having a negative impact on you this week, don't worry, it won't be around for long. The dust is expected to move out of our region later this week.
If you want to take advantage of some of the positives with the dust this week, be sure to head outside with a camera around sunrise/sunset to get some great pictures.
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