Huge dust cloud from the Sahara envelops the Caribbean

View of the Morro Castle as a vast cloud of dust from the Sahara that covers the city of Havana on June 24, 2020Image copyright


Morro’s castle in Havana, Cuba, was enveloped in the mist of the dust cloud.

A huge cloud of Saharan dust has darkened the skies over parts of the Caribbean.

Dust has been moving from Africa over the Atlantic Ocean.

On Sunday he arrived in Puerto Rico and has since covered Cuba and parts of Mexico.

The Caribbean islands of Guadalupe and Martinique are suffering from their worst haze for at least a decade, and health officials in Cuba warn that it could increase respiratory problems.

The dust cloud is also affecting parts of South Florida, including the city of Miami.

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Media captionSaharan dust moves to the USA. USA

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‘Unusually large dust area’

Analysis by BBC Weather presenter Simon King

Dust and sand storms are not uncommon in desert regions of the world. Winds can whip up dust, up to 2 billion tons each year, high in our atmosphere and is transported many miles from the source.

A column of dust from the Sahara desert approaches the United States from the Caribbean on an image from the GOES-East satellite of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on June 24, 2020.Image copyright


The extent of the dust cloud is visible in this satellite image

Dust and sand provide a source of nutrients for ocean ecosystems, but can also affect the climate and health of humans with respiratory problems.

Dust leaving the Sahara into the Atlantic is a common occurrence and is known as the Saharan layer of dry air. Later in the hurricane season it can inhibit the growth of tropical storms that develop around Cape Verde and the mid-Atlantic.

However, during the last week we have had an unusually large area of ​​dust that crosses the Atlantic and affects Central and North America. This is going to happen over the weekend. Meanwhile, another large area of ​​dust has been seen in satellite imagery emerging from the Sahara and crossing the Atlantic.

Poor visibility and air quality are forecast to continue in parts of the Caribbean and Central America over the coming week.

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On Sunday, it was the Venezuelan capital Caracas that saw its neighborhoods surrounded by mists.

Dust particles are observed in Caracas, Venezuela, on June 21, 2020.Image copyright

Tourists in San Juan in Puerto Rico obtained more sand than they had negotiated on Monday.

A large cloud of dust from the Sahara is covering the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on June 22, 202.Image copyright

Bridgetown in Barbados also appeared covered in yellow dust on Monday.

Dust from the Sahara desert floats over the city of Bridgetown, Barbados, on June 22, 2020, in this image taken from social media.Image copyright

In Cuba, people stopped to take pictures of the yellow sky on Wednesday.

Photographers take photos in the colonial era fortress Image copyright

Cuban health officials warned residents that those with asthma and other respiratory problems may see their conditions worsen.

Cuban meteorologist José Rubiera said that while the Sahara dust clouds were not unusual, the density of the current one was “well above normal levels.”

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