The 2,400-km-long block of dust from the Sahara covers the Caribbean


The huge dust cloud caused the Caribbean sky to turn gray on its way to America with unprecedented size and density over the past half century.

The scene in the Caribbean countries is blind due to the dust. Video: Guardian.

Air quality in most of the Caribbean is "dangerous" and experts nicknamed the cloud of Godzilla, while also advising people to stay indoors and use an air purifier if available. "This is the most significant event in the last 50 years," said Pablo Méndez Lázaro, an environmental health specialist at the University of Puerto Rico. "The situation is very dangerous in many Caribbean islands". Lázaro, who is working with NASA to develop a Sahara dust storm warning system, said the dust density in recent days was so high that it could have harmful effects on healthy people.

Dusty conditions and limited visibility were recorded from Antigua to Trinidad & Tobago, expected to last today. José Alamo, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico, predicts a mass of dust longer than 2,400 km will have the worst impact on the United States on June 23 and 24 as the dust cloud approaches. Southeast coastal area. The international airport in San Juan reports visibility at only 8 km.

The dust mass was initially formed by a number of different small storm systems in central and western Africa. Several thunderstorms create downward airflow and develop a strong dust storm, resulting in large amounts of dust being washed into the atmosphere from the Sahara. East African winds, strong winds in the atmosphere that carry dust to the west, are unusually weak in June this year, meaning a greater amount of dust can accumulate off the coast of western Africa. Then, the dense dust mass was swept away and accelerated. The increase in dust density caused the skies across the Caribbean to turn gray-brown and record low air quality.

Extremely dry dust masses form over the Sahara Desert and travel across the ocean surface in the North Atlantic Ocean from late spring to early autumn, peaking from late June to mid-August, according to the Department of Management. Ocean and the National Atmosphere (NOAA). Dust layer can be up to 3 km thick.



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