Sahara dust “drives the rain away” of the Yucatan Peninsula

The dust of the Sahara will give orange or reddish sunsets and sunrises. Photo: (Sipse)

Since Wednesday, July 21, a “cloud” of desert sand, which broke off from the African continent, has crossed the Atlantic to reach the Yucatan Peninsula.

MÉRIDA, Yucatán, (July 22, 2021).- The National Meteorological Service (SMN) reported that due to the passage of a cloud of dust from the Sahara through the Yucatan Peninsula, a decrease in rainfall and cyclonic activity is expected in the Caribbean area and this will promote a “stable” climate in the state for the next few days.

In recent days, a new pulse of dust was released from the Sahel region, in the Sahara desert, a phenomenon that is common during the months of July and August, when the decrease in rainfall is combined with intense winds in that region, generating landslides of warm, dry air saturated with dust and microscopic particles.

Through numerical models, the SMN of the National Water Commission (Conagua) foresees that the dust cloud of the Sahara will continue its journey after “entering” the Yucatan Peninsula in the afternoon of Wednesday, July 21, with low to moderate concentrations of aerosols over the states of Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatán.

Later, it will move over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, passing over the coastal areas of the states of Tabasco, Veracruz, and Tamaulipas. It will also reach the southwestern states of the United States of America, beginning to dissipate in Mexican territory on Sunday, July 25.

Some effects that the dust cloud will have as it passes through the region are dry and warm air that will reduce the probability of precipitation; the presence of storms, and a decrease in cyclonic activity in the Caribbean area. In addition, sunsets and sunrises can turn orange or reddish due to the interaction of the sun’s rays with dust particles.

This dry and dusty air mass that originates over the Sahara desert in Africa is known as the “Saharan air layer” (SAL). It travels thousands of kilometers over the Atlantic Ocean, and by the direction of the wind, it reaches the Caribbean Islands and then the Yucatan Peninsula.

Source: Sipse

The Yucatan Times Newsroom



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