Fluctuating Concentrations of Saharan Dust Forecast Over Next 10 Days

Saharan Dust levels are forecast to continue fluctuating between moderate and high levels across Trinidad and Tobago through the next seven to ten days.

What you need to know

Saharan Dust Surges: While no major and significant surges are forecast to affect T&T over the next several days, moderate to high concentration surges of Saharan Dust are forecast to arrive across T&T on August 5th, August 9th, and August 12th, 2022.
Impacts: Air quality levels across Trinidad and Tobago will vary between good and moderate through the forecast period. Periodic rainfall will also lead to air quality improvements in localized areas.
What Should You Do: Sensitive groups will have brief periods during the upcoming forecast period where good air quality is anticipated. However, they should take the necessary precautions during dust surges. The general population will remain unaffected.

Current AQI Levels Across T&T


The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) air quality monitoring stations across Trinidad and Tobago over the last 24 hours.
The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) air quality monitoring stations across Trinidad and Tobago over the last 24 hours.

The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) air quality monitoring stations at San Fernando, Port of Spain, Point Lisas, and Signal Hill have all recorded moderate air quality levels over the last 24 hours. At San Fernando and Signal Hill, air quality reached levels that were unhealthy for sensitive groups in the last 24 hours.

These measurements are based on PM2.5 (particulates the size of 2.5 micrometers and smaller, usually associated with increases in Saharan Dust, vehicle exhaust, and smoke) and PM10 particulates.

Over the last 24 hours, visibility remained near or above ten kilometers at the Piarco International Airport and A.N.R. Robinson International Airport at Crown Point, Tobago.

Saharan Dust Forecast

00Z Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022, NASA GEOS-5 Dust Extinction Model Monitoring Tropical Atlantic Sulphates Aerosol Optical Total showing Saharan Dust
00Z Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022, NASA GEOS-5 Dust Extinction Model Monitoring Tropical Atlantic Sulphates Aerosol Optical Total showing Saharan Dust

Ongoing Surge: Through Early Thursday

Saharan Dust levels are moderate to high across Trinidad and Tobago, with higher concentrations both south and north of the country. Fluctuating but decreasing concentrations are forecast through Thursday, August 4th, 2022, due to the approach and passage of a tropical wave interacting with the ITCZ.

Anticipated intervals of showers and isolated thunderstorms are forecast to bring brief air quality improvement. Still, air quality levels will vary from good to moderate, with the visibility generally near or above 10 kilometers outside of shower or thunderstorm activity.

Surge #2: Late Friday, August 5th, 2022

Following the passage of Tropical Wave 25 and the modulation of the Intertropical Convergence Zone across T&T, a mild to a moderate concentration surge of dust is set to arrive by late Friday, August 5th, 2022. However, peak concentrations are forecast to occur on Monday, August 8th, 2022.

Air quality levels will vary from good to moderate across T&T, with visibility generally remaining near or above 10 kilometers outside of shower or thunderstorm activity. Improvement is forecast by Wednesday, August 10th, 2022.

Surge #3: Early Thursday, August 11th, 2022

A mild to moderate concentration surge of dust is set to arrive by late Thursday, August 4th, 2022. Higher concentrations of dust are forecast to remain north of Trinidad and Tobago.

Air quality levels will vary from good to moderate across T&T, with visibility generally remaining near or above 10 kilometers outside of shower or thunderstorm activity. \

What does this mean for you?

The air quality will be degraded through the forecast period. During high traffic periods, particularly between 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM, and again from 3:00 PM through 6:30 PM, air quality may be further reduced in localized areas.

According to the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service, “the 2022 Saharan Dust Haze Season is likely to peak from June to August with the number of Saharan dust haze days expected to increase significantly. The duration of the plumes of Saharan dust haze visiting both islands is also likely to be more prolonged than earlier in the year, with increased odds for higher dust haze concentration during plumes visitation.”

We’re in a period where the Intertropical Convergence Zone and tropical waves may shield Trinidad and Tobago from the Saharan Dust events. While Tropical Waves play a notable role in moving dust across the Atlantic and the Eastern Caribbean, these periodic tropical waves also improve air quality.

The concentration of the dust that follows the wave depends on its strength as it moves off the West African Coast. This is because of stronger thunderstorms across Central Africa. As strong winds move downward and outward from these thunderstorms, the wind kicks up dust as it moves across parts of the Saharan Desert and transports it into the upper atmosphere. This “plume” of dust follows the axis of the wave as it progresses westward into the Atlantic.

Dust that makes it into the upper levels of the atmosphere can then get transported across the Atlantic Ocean. The plumes of dust eventually affect the Eastern Caribbean.

Larger, more concentrated plumes of Saharan dust begin in April and continue through November.

Read More

Staying Safe From Saharan Dust

Believe it or not, Saharan Dust can be present in T&T year-round. Concentrations wax and wane depending on prevailing weather features in the area. It also depends on if there are…

The Air Quality Index

In all of our Saharan Dust forecasts, we use the Air Quality Index (AQI) to quickly surmise the possible impacts on the population. What is the Air Quality Index? The AQI is an index for…
Total
1
Shares
Related Posts
Total
1
Share