A massive plume of dust referred to as a Saharan Air Layer (SAL) could reach U.S. Gulf Coast states this weekend, according to AccuWeather.
On Tuesday, weather models show SAL traversing the Atlantic. The expectation is this enormous plume of dust will sweep across the Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico by the end of this week, reaching the U.S. Gulf Coast by Saturday.
“A large batch of dust was evident on satellite photos from the start of this week and was beginning to enter the Caribbean.
“It is possible, but not a certainty, that this dust will make the trip as far as the Gulf and south-central U.S. late this week or this weekend,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
This is the trans-Atlantic SAL of the year and could bring hazy skies and extra color to sunrises and sunsets for parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
The first Saharan dust plume of the season rolling off Africa will reach the U.S. by this weekend
Meteorologist @StephenMorganTV explains what it means.
— FOX Weather (@foxweather) May 17, 2022
“While NASA’s dust forecast model shows some dust in the skies over the western Gulf coast from Louisiana to Texas on Sunday, the Copernicus satellite model says the dust will dissipate before it reaches the United States, except for southern Florida,” AccuWeather Senior Weather Editor Jesse Ferrell said.
If the SAL does reach the U.S. this weekend, it may also bring health hazards, such as a surge in air pollution and agitating health issues for those with respiratory issues.