No Major Saharan Dust Surges Forecast Until Mid-September

Trinidad, Tobago, and most of the Southern Windwards will see mostly good air quality through the next ten days as tropical waves, and the Intertropical Convergence Zone are forecast to keep Saharan Dust north and east of the region.

For Trinidad and Tobago, over the next 24 hours, existing dust levels are forecast to decrease substantially.

What you need to know

Saharan Dust Surges: The ongoing surge is forecast to diminish through the next 24 hours, with no additional major or significant surges forecast to affect T&T through the next ten days. By September 10th, forecast models indicate a moderate-concentration surge to arrive across the region.
Impacts: Through the next 12-24 hours, air quality levels across Trinidad and Tobago will remain near moderate. By mid-Saturday, through the remainder of the forecast period, air quality is forecast to be mostly at good levels until September 10th.
What Should You Do: Through Saturday morning, sensitive groups should take the necessary precautions. 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, Point Lisas, Signal Hill, and Port of Spain have recorded good to moderate air quality levels over 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, outside of shower and thunderstorm activity.

Saharan Dust Forecast

00Z Friday, September 2nd, 2022, NASA GEOS-5 Dust Extinction Model Monitoring Tropical Atlantic Aerosol Optical Depth showing Saharan Dust
00Z Friday, September 2nd, 2022, NASA GEOS-5 Dust Extinction Model Monitoring Tropical Atlantic Aerosol Optical Depth showing Saharan Dust

Ongoing Surge: Ends Early Saturday, September 3rd, 2022

As Tropical Storm Earl moves northwestward, air quality is set to improve across Trinidad, Tobago, and the Lesser Antilles as higher dust concentrations move westward.

Concentrations are forecast to gradually diminish by early Saturday, with showers and thunderstorms providing localized air quality improvement.

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

Next Surge: Saturday, September 10th, 2022

Long-range forecast models indicate a moderate to a high-concentration surge of Saharan Dust arriving across the Lesser Antilles by late Friday, September 9th through Saturday, September 10th. A supplemental surge of dust is also forecast to arrive by September 12-13th.

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

What does this mean for you?

The air quality may remain degraded through Saturday, September 3rd, 2022, associated with Saharan Dust. 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.

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
58
Shares
Related Posts
Total
58
Share