Giant Sahara Dust Cloud Near Florida

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Brevard (FL) Times:

A giant Saharan dust cloud spanning over 2000 miles wide that made its way across the Atlantic Ocean toward the Caribbean, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico this week could mean a pause in hurricane and tropical storm formation but also spark harmful algae blooms around the Sunshine State.

“6/22: We continue to follow a westward-moving dense plume of #SaharanDust. The leading edge has reached the central Caribbean Sea this Monday morning. Although it is normal to see SAL outbreaks in June & July, this one is quite significant,” the National Hurricane Center’s Tropical Research and Forecast branch tweeted on Monday.

Because the dust particles are so small – often less than 0.002 mm across – they can remain aloft for days as they ride global rivers of air.

Larger grains of sand don’t get airborne as often or for as long, but they can be pushed along the ground by the wind or washed away by water erosion.

The Saharan dust clouds cross the Atlantic Ocean and reach the Caribbean and the Americas in about 5 to 7 days.

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