A large cloud of Saharan dust covering the Caribbean is about to hit the United States, and storms may bring more rain Wednesday to the Gulf coast.
The Saharan air layer has been incredibly impressive this year. The dry air mass, known as SAL, has spread across the Caribbean to the Bahamas and will eventually shift over Florida and the Gulf Coast in the coming days.
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Dust particles signify decreased air quality and more vivid red hues of sunsets along the Gulf Coast and Southeast as light passes through dust particles
The air mass travels mainly over the ocean surface at 5,000 to 20,000 feet. It causes sinking of the air and shear, which inhibits tropical activity over the Atlantic Ocean.
This dust can travel 5,000 miles before reaching the Gulf of Mexico and the United States.
Dolly weakens to a tropical depression
The fourth tropical storm called of the season, Dolly, is now a depression.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm was about 450 miles southwest of Newfoundland on Wednesday morning, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph as it moved northeast at 12 mph.
It is the third earliest formation of the fourth named storm during the Atlantic hurricane season, and will continue to weaken and will not affect land.
Storm threat on the Gulf Coast
A stagnant front will bring the risk of showers and thunderstorms that extend from the southern plains to the Tennessee Valley and the mid-Atlantic.
According to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (WPC), some areas could receive large amounts of precipitation and flash floods, especially along the Gulf Coast in Texas and Louisiana.
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The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) said there is a risk of severe thunderstorms in the northern plains on Thursday.
Unstable weather moves northwest and north plains Thursday through Friday.
Dangerous heat wave continues across the west
High temperatures in the west endure Wednesday.
Records will be possible for parts of Northern California until Friday.
Afternoon highs in the 90s and 100s continue through Saturday from the Central Valley and northern California to southwestern Oregon.
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Warnings about the heat have increased in Oregon and in the Central Valley of California through Saturday.
Excessive heat warnings are also in effect for the Grand Canyon.
Fox News’ Brandon Noriega contributed to this report.