Saharan dust is poised to “hit” the U.S. Gulf Coast on Friday, forecasters say, promising hazy skies and fiery red sunsets but also potential health problems.
Nicknamed “Godzilla” for its unusually large size, the plume of dust began to emerge off western Africa last weekend and now has traveled over 4,000 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, the Weather Channel said.
Saharan dust tracks as far west as the Caribbean Sea, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico each year.
This particular dust event is unique because of its thickness over parts of the Caribbean Sea earlier this week. It had the highest concentrations of dust particles observed over Puerto Rico in at least the last 15 years, according to Dr. Olga Mayol of the Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies at the University of Puerto Rico.
Dust will continue to spread into parts of the U.S. through the weekend, where it might at least contribute to hazy skies. There could also be brilliant sunrises and sunsets.
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