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More Saharan Dust arriving in Texas

Dust Tracker

If you have been outside around sunset the last couple of nights in Central Texas, you may have noticed a dingier & more colorful sunset on the horizon. That is due to Saharan dust which is already in our atmosphere, leading to moderate air quality levels. However the concentration of dust may increase dramatically into early next week, leading to health issues that could affect a wider range of individuals.

The new plume of dust is moving through the western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico through the weekend. Dust traveling across the Atlantic Ocean towards Texas is fairly common during the Atlantic Hurricane Season. It resides several thousand feet above the surface, and is sometimes referred to as the Saharan Air Layer. As the dust falls to the surface, it results in degraded air quality, sometimes for multiple days at a time.

The highest concentration of dust over central Texas is expected by late Monday into Tuesday (July 16 - 17), and may be even worse than the last bout of Saharan dust that moved through the state. Air quality during this time may fall to "Unhealthy for sensitive groups" or even "Unhealthy." If you are someone who suffers from respiratory or allergy issues, you may see aggravation of symptoms if spending time outdoors. it's advised that you limit your outdoor exposure on Monday and Tuesday until dust concentrations return back to tolerable amounts.

The good news here is that the presence of Saharan dust suppresses tropical development in the Atlantic hurricane basin. That means no tropical cyclone development is expected in the Gulf of Mexico for next week at the very least. Also, as the concentration of dust over Texas peaks, sunrise and sunset will have deeper red & orange coloration.


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