Saharan dust blowing in Michigan could mean fantastic sunrises, sunsets

Get ready for a few days of possible stellar starts and end for our days in Michigan.

A large Saharan powder plum has been blowing across the Atlantic in recent days. Dust is now in the upper atmosphere over the Gulf of Mexico.

A NASA weather model shows the expected movement and concentration of dust in the coming days.

anim powder

Aerosol dust forecast from Tuesday, June 23, 2020 to Saturday, June 27, 2020.

The forecast animation above ends on Saturday night. Over the next few days, the high dust concentration will move to the southern US. USA Eventually, by Saturday, some of the dust could be on the Michigan sky. The animation actually shows two types of particles blowing in the eastern United States. Yellow is mainly powder. At the edges of the dust cloud, and mixed with the dust cloud, there are particles of sea salt that are shown in greenish blue.

When dust and sea salt particles enter the sky over Michigan, there could be some spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

The particles will reflect and refract sunlight when the sun rises above the horizon or disappears below the horizon. It could make the shows in heaven begin or end our day.

The only problem we have at the moment is a large-scale storm system scheduled to be over the Great Lakes on Friday night and Saturday morning. The dust forecast shows the highest concentrations at the same time that there may be clouds over our skies. It doesn’t mean there won’t be great sunrises and sunsets, unless the clouds are thick enough to block the sun entirely.

We want to see on Friday morning our first possible dusty sunrise. Of course, Friday night and Saturday morning will be times to look at the sky, but the clouds can be thick. Saturday night could be spectacular. On Sunday morning and afternoon there will probably still be dust and salt floating in our sky.

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