(CBSDFW.COM) – A historic dust cloud lies over North Texas on Saturday. Dust comes from Africa and produced the thickest dust event in 20 years in the Caribbean.
The dust continued westward into the Gulf of Mexico before circulation from a surface high-pressure dome over Florida pushed the dust northward from Texas with winds from the south.
Residents probably noticed the dust on Friday, but today it is much denser in the air. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared that outdoor air is “unhealthy.”
Those who are sensitive to air quality conditions, such as residents with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children, should reduce their time outdoors.
Yes, this powder is bad for your lungs. EPA’s air quality report shows unhealthy conditions for Tarrant, Parker, Denton and Wise counties. Stay indoors this afternoon if you can, the air quality is better tomorrow. # CBS11wx #dfwwx #txwx pic.twitter.com/ZbTxix05gz
– Jeffrey Ray (@ cbs11jeffrey) June 27, 2020
The dust won’t be too bad on Sunday as it continues to weaken and spread further north.
It is interesting to note that the MODIS satellite, launched in 2002, has never before recorded such a thick dust cloud from the Sahara. Based on that, it’s safe to say that low visibility on Saturday is the worst Saharan dust has been in the past 18 years, at least.
The dust and the dry layer that the cloud contains inhibit the formation of hurricanes. It also keeps surface water cooler as less sunlight hits it. We have not had tropical wave formations in that area of the Atlantic for the past eight to nine days as it moved over open water.