NASA tracking Sahara Desert dust which will create brilliant sunsets from Florida coast

Space Science

MIAMI BEACH, FL – JUNE 30: A sunset at South Point Park as the Sahara dust storm has reached the Florida US mainland after a mandate to wear face masks in public spaces went into effect on Tuesday June 30, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. Miami Beach has issued a mask mandate to anyone in public areas where social distancing is not possible. Miami and Fort Lauderdale beaches will close for 4th of July weekend amid coronavirus concerns. (Photo by Johnny Louis/Getty Images)

MYSTERY WIRE (TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – AP) — Sunsets across Florida in the coming days could become even more spectacular, as clouds of dust from the Sahara desert sweep in across the Atlantic coast

The plume is expected to dampen storm activity but worsen air pollution, causing trouble for some people with allergies and other respiratory problems. Some health experts say symptoms could mimic those from COVID-19.

MIAMI BEACH, FL – JUNE 30: A sunset at South Point Park as the Sahara dust storm has reached the Florida US mainland after a mandate to wear face masks in public spaces went into effect on Tuesday June 30, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. Miami Beach has issued a mask mandate to anyone in public areas where social distancing is not possible. Miami and Fort Lauderdale beaches will close for 4th of July weekend amid coronavirus concerns. (Photo by Johnny Louis/Getty Images)

NASA is monitoring the dust, which was swept off Africa by strong winds swirling across the deserts of Mali and Mauritania. Trade winds are carrying the plume across the ocean, with the leading edge expected to arrive in Florida in the coming days.

“It’s going to be substantial,” said Joseph Prospero, professor emeritus at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. He pioneered research into African dust clouds.

“It’s going to be a major dust outbreak,” Prospero told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Dry winds carrying the particles could help smother storm systems by drying out the humid tropical air that feeds turbulent weather across a well-traveled route for hurricanes, experts said.

“It’s been moving across the Atlantic for the past several days, and it’s expected to be in the area around Friday or Saturday,” Sammy Hadi, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Miami, told the paper. “It acts to prevent widespread showers and thunderstorms. You could still have showers and thunderstorms, but the coverage would be much less if you didn’t have Saharan dust.”

Scientists and health experts have long monitored the plumes for their effect on weather, the climate and the oceans. It’s unclear how severely the incoming plume of dust will impact human health.

Last summer winds carried nearly 24 tons of dust from the Sahara Desert across the Atlantic to North and South America, The 2020 dust storm was so massive that it was nicknamed Godzilla and astronauts on the International Space Station could see it.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Space Science Video

The Latest

More The Latest

Don't Miss

Latest Mystery Wire News