(CBSDFW.COM) – A historic dust cloud is sitting over North Texas Saturday. The dust comes all the way from Africa and produced the thickest dust event in 20 years over the Caribbean.
The dust continued west into the Gulf of Mexico before the circulation from a surface high pressure dome over Florida pushed the dust into North Texas on south winds.
Residents likely noticed the dust on Friday, but it is much thicker in the air today. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared the air outside as “unhealthy.”
Those who are sensitive to air quality conditions such as residents with heart or lung diseases, older adults, and children should reduce their time outdoors.
Yes, this dust is bad for your lungs. Air Quality report from EPA shows unhealthy conditions for Tarrant, Parker, Denton and Wise counties. Stay inside 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 as bad Sunday as it continues to weaken and spread further north.
Interesting to note that the MODIS Satellite, launched in 2002, has never recorded a Saharan dust plume this thick before. Based on that, it is safe to say that the low visibility on Saturday is the worst it has been from Saharan dust in the last 18 years, at least.
The dust and the dry layer the cloud contains inhibits hurricane formation. It also keeps surface water cooler since less sunlight is hitting it. We have had no tropical wave formation in that area of the Atlantic over the last eight to nine days as it moved over open water.