African dust could cause breathing problems for some this weekend

This weekend, an extensive dust event will end up over Texas.

Sometimes during the summer, the winds across the Atlantic pick up dust from the Sahara Dessert in Africa and take it across the ocean.

Earlier this week, the dust was across the Caribbean Islands.

Space City Weather managing editor Matt Lanza said often times the landing point is in Texas, Mexico, the Caribbean or Florida.

He said for most of us, the dust shouldn't be an issue, unless you are an asthmatic or have respiratory illnesses or bad allergies.

“The particulate matter in the atmosphere may go up a little bit this weekend to elevated levels and it may make outdoor activity a little bit more uncomfortable and unpleasant,” said Lanza.

He says this could go all the way through Tuesday, but will be heaviest through Monday.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality reported that the African dust would affect the Texas coastline through yesterday.

The dust is temporarily protecting us from a tropical storm.

Lanza said the dry air hinders a tropical system to grow and thrive in that environment.

“For hurricanes and tropical systems to function, they can’t have dry air, or at least not a lot of it. So what this can do, is this can help suppress tropical activity across the Atlantic basin,” said Lanza.

This dust will make the sky will look hazy and a different color. The sky will have a different color...which could impact sunrises and sunsets.

NASA reports the dust can also lead to the creation of toxic algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico.


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