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The Sahara Desert Dust Storm Is Headed For America

By: Kate A.

A storm activated dust from the Sahara Desert, the wind from said storm carried a blanket of sand, dust, and dirt across the West Coast of Africa and across the Atlantic Ocean to cover America in a shield of darkness.

The dust is expected to impact the Gulf Coast in a significant way. However, it will push northward into other states farther inland. Satellite imagery confirmed the Caribbean, was left behind a thin coating on the ground in some areas, completely turning the sky hazy over the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Cuba.

Reports show the air quality in Galveston, Texas, was affected. Social media posts confirm the discoloration of the once blue skyline.

The Associated Press referred to it as a “Godzilla dust cloud,” whereas some specialists describe the dust cloud as the most significant event in the past 50 years. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explained how the cloud is part of what’s known as the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), which usually occupies a 2- to- a 2.5-mile-thick layer of the atmosphere, with a base starting about 1 mile above the surface. Meteorologists were tracking dust emerging from the African coast since April 2020, but there has been a jump in activity around the middle of June.

The cloud cover, combined with the haziness from dust, will affect air quality levels, making them drop from moderate to unhealthy over southern and eastern Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and other states across America.

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