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Saharan dust cloud can alter sunsets in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The hazy conditions of the last few days were a result of dust that was there swept away from the Sahara more than a week ago. Meteorologist Chris Higgins says the cloud has reached us here in the US.

The phenomenon is not uncommon for May, June and early Julywhen thick clouds of dust often appear as milky, atmospheric plumes on satellite images.

according to dr Jason Dunion, a University of Miami hurricane researcher, says Saharan dust typically travels about a mile above the Atlantic surface in a 2 to 2.5 mile thick layer of very dry, dusty air.

While much of the dust usually stays well above the ground, some dense plumes can cause air quality problems at ground level and irritation, especially for those with pre-existing respiratory problems.

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Sahara dust cloud as seen by NOAA-20 satellite on June 17, 2020.

Depending on how dense the cloud is, the Saharan dust can also create stunning sunrises and sunsets, characterized by deep red and orange hues. In dense conditions, skies can appear milky white during the day, with dust blocking the light and causing muted sunsets in the evening.

There is a good chance of thunderstorms tonight, most likely after midnight. Some of the storms can bring strong winds, hail and possibly brief, localized flash floods/road flooding.

The storms were expected to sweep through the area between midnight and 5 a.m.

The weekend seems to be dry and not quite as hot. But triple-digit temperatures appear poised to make a comeback next week.

https://fox2now.com/news/weather/saharan-dust-plume-may-transform-st-louis-sunsets/ Saharan dust cloud can alter sunsets in St. Louis

Nate Jones

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