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Saharan dust to blame for hazy skies along Gulf Coast

You may notice a bit more haze in the sky the next few days as a batch of dust from the Saharan Desert has made it all the way across the Atlantic and is being steered into the Gulf Coast.

From Houston to Lake Charles to New Orleans, the dust can be seen as a orange tinted haze in the sky. It also makes for incredible sunsets.

This phenomenon is not out of the ordinary at this time of year as these plumes of dust are a regular occurrence in July traveling off the coast of Africa, across the Atlantic and into the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. One of the benefits to the Saharan dust is it acts to suppress hurricane development which is one of the main reasons why the tropics have been so quiet lately.

Those with respiratory illnesses can have difficulty breathing outdoors when this dusty air is in higher concentration.

 

A view of Saharan dust exiting the coast of Africa. Credit: NASA

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