A larger blanket of dust sweeping across the Atlantic and the Caribbean

Hazy skies and warmer temperatures are in the forecast for parts of the Caribbean, including Jamaica due to the current weather conditions across the region. This outbreak of dust is expected to reach the Western Caribbean and parts of the USA by as early as this Friday. This feature is generally known as the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), this dry dust generally forms during the late spring through early fall months and moves across the Tropical Atlantic Ocean over a three to five days cycle, according to NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division (HRD).

Experts are indicating that this current blanket of dust over the region is not as massive as the one that was recorded by satellite last June, however, persons in the region should take the necessary precautions. According to NOAA, the SAL is most common during the early parts of the hurricane season, research has that an outbreak of dust along with strong upper-level winds will likely put a lid on any significant tropical development over the next several days across the Atlantic.

Currently, countries like Jamaica are already dealing with poor air quality due to an influx of Saharan dust and while most persons will only notice some hazy and hot conditions and more vibrant sunsets. However, health experts say that the dust could be worrying for those with allergies and may even produce symptoms similar to COVID-19.

All persons should therefore take the necessary precautions to stay hydrated and avoid the heat by not staying out in the direct sunlight, especially during the hours of 11 am to 3 pm each day.

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