More Saharan dust moves to the Gulf coast this week


Another round of Saharan dust will move to the Gulf of Mexico and bring haze along the Gulf coast beginning Tuesday.

The Saharan air layer has been incredibly impressive this year. The dry air mass, known as SAL, primarily travels over the ocean surface at 5,000 to 20,000 feet. It causes sinking of air and shear, which inhibits tropical activity over the Atlantic Ocean.

The thick layer of Saharan dust continues to flow from the African coast across the Atlantic and into the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the southeastern United States.

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While the last round will not be as thick or as extended as last weekend, dust will be seen Tuesday through Thursday from Texas to Louisiana.

Downtown Houston is shown as a Saharan dust cloud moving over parts of Texas on June 26 in Houston.
(AP Photo / David J. Phillip)

Coastal areas, such as the Houston and New Orleans area, may see cloudy skies in the coming days.

Another round of Saharan dust will move to the Gulf coast starting Tuesday.

Another round of Saharan dust will move to the Gulf coast starting Tuesday.
(Fox News)

Dust can continue to cause respiratory problems for sensitive groups.

Otherwise, dust in the atmosphere prevents hurricanes from developing, and no activity is expected in the Atlantic for at least the next week.

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The dry Saharan air blowing in from the African coast and filling the lower latitudes has helped halt what has been an active hurricane season so far. According to NOAA, dry, dusty air is approximately 50 percent less humid than the typical tropical atmosphere, weakening any disturbance that attempts to develop.

So far in 2020, two tropical storms, Arthur and Bertha, both in the Atlantic, have already formed this year in May.

Named tropical storms so far in the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

Named tropical storms so far in the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
(Fox News)

The third named storm, Christopher, swept from Louisiana to the Upper Midwest earlier this month, bringing strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical storm Dolly became the fourth named storm of 2020 last Tuesday after forming far from land in the North Atlantic.

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There are 13 to 19 named storms forecast during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, forecasters at the National Oceanic Administration’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said last month. Atmospheric (NOAA).

NOAA's 2020 hurricane season forecast.

NOAA’s 2020 hurricane season forecast.
(Fox News)

Six to ten of them could become hurricanes, with winds of 74 mph or more, and three to six could become major hurricanes, capable of inflicting devastating damage.

The list of names for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

The list of names for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
(Fox News)

This forecast is well above the averages of 12 named tropical storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes during the season.

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The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 and will include the names: Arthur, Bertha, Christopher, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.

Travis Fedschun of Fox News contributed to this report.

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