First Saharan dust plume of the season entering the Caribbean

Not expected to impact Lower 48

ORLANDO, Fla. – ‘Tis the season. It’s about this time every year where we look for Saharan dust to make its several thousand-mile trip across the Atlantic. The eastern Caribbean on Tuesday was under the influence of some of that dust.

There are several good and bad qualities of the yearly-occurring phenomena.

Saharan dust

The Saharan Air Layer, as it’s known, is made up of dry, dusty stable air that inhibits thunderstorm development. When the dust is present, it helps to limit the amount of tropical activity.


Currently there is hardly a cloud in the sky across the area, known as the main development region, in between the Lesser Antilles and Africa. This is the year where long-track hurricanes form and thrive during the peak of hurricane season.

During the months of May, June and July, the dust helps to keep tropical development at bay in this part of the world. The dust tends to become less-prolific during August, September and October.

This time around, the dusty air, which also helps to enhance sunrises and sunsets, won’t make it to the Lower 48, however next week another plume of dust is set to enter the Caribbean. This time around it could enter the southeast U.S. skies.

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About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 and now covers weather on TV and all digital platforms.