Saharan Dust To Return This Weekend

Saharan Air Layer Analysis showing the large plume of Saharan Dust across the Eastern and Central Atlantic. Credit: CIMISS/SSEC/UWM

Trinidad and Tobago will continue to see fairly good air quality throughout this week until early Friday. There may be some mild intrusions of lingering dust in the Central and Eastern Atlantic across T&T. However, it won’t be anything that we haven’t dealt with for the past few months.

On Saturday into Sunday, Saharan Dust models show a moderate plume of Saharan Dust moving across the Lesser Antilles. The highest concentrations of dust from this plume will move over the Southern Windwards, including Trinidad and Tobago. This dust is forecast to blanket the region with air quality to be reduced to unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Visible Satellite Imagery from GOES-East (GOES-16) showing a large plume of Saharan Dust moving across the Eastern and Central Atlantic presently.

This plume looks formidable on visible satellite imagery presently. However, dust models show much of the concentrated dust will be deposited across the Atlantic Ocean before reaching the Lesser Antilles.

Update: Dust models have changed, showing more dust moving across parts of the Southern Windward Islands, reducing air quality to unhealthy levels for the first time for 2019. See the latest forecast here.

0Z March 13th 2019 NASA GEOS-5 Dust Model, showing a large plume of moderately concentrated dust approaching the Lesser Antilles by the weekend (March 16th). Credit: Weatherbell

Air quality will generally remain good to moderate over the next 3 days so enjoy the outside air while it lasts! Larger, more concentrated plumes of Saharan dust begin to occur in April, and continue through November. This is due to stronger thunderstorms across interior Africa sending dust into the upper atmosphere.

Related: Saharan Dust

EPA Air Quality Index Risk Levels

Persons with respiratory ailments are advised to take the necessary precautions, not limited to those listed below.

Saharan Dust Precautions
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