Saharan dust cloud: what it means for the Cape Fear Region

Saharan dust cloud: what it means for the Cape Fear Region
Saharan Dust expectations (Source: First Alert Weather)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Every year, packets of dry, dusty air blow off Africa’s Sahara desert and westward into the Atlantic. These events have been known to suppress tropical storm formation and, here in June 2020, an especially thick dust cloud is attracting an exceptional amount of attention as it wafts through the Caribbean and toward the United States.

Here is what the Saharan dust means for the Cape Fear Region:

- Vibrant sunrises and sunsets: Think about it. We already have extraordinarily colorful sunsets! Extra aerosols will only increase the odds for more.

- A discernible daytime haze: Summer is already a hazy time. You may perceive the haze to be a little thicker than usual.

- Possible air quality issues: If you are especially sensitive to air pollution and particulates, you may experience minor to moderate respiratory distress.

When might we see and feel this infusion of dust to our Cape Fear skies? As of now, the relatively higher concentrations look to arrive this weekend and extend into a portion of next week. So keep looking up! And keep your cameras ready!

Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.