5 Day Forecast: Saharan Dust & Hazy Skies

Saharan Dust currently blankets the Atlantic Ocean, with increasing concentrations over the next 5 days expected over Trinidad and Tobago.

Weather Forecast

After 3 days of welcome isolated to scattered showers, we’re returning to the usual sunny to partly cloudy skies with low chances of isolated showers.

The surface to low-level shearline (a line or narrow zone across which there is an abrupt change in the horizontal wind component parallel to this line) that has been affecting Trinidad and Tobago has now moved west of our area.

An Atlantic high-pressure system will become the dominating weather feature as the day progresses, and remain in place, at minimum, over the next 5 days. At lower and mid-levels, the atmosphere will be fairly dry, not conducive for shower development.

The daily weather pattern will be the same, with the low chance of isolated showers, favoring pre-dawn periods. Generally, throughout the days, breezy conditions with mostly sunny to partly cloudy and hazy skies are expected. While some low-level cloud patches may move through the area, beyond brief partly cloudy to cloudy skies, no significant rainfall is expected.

Winds are expected to be between 15-30 KM/H, and gusts up to 50 KM/H over the next 5 days resulting from the Atlantic high-pressure dominating the weather pattern.

Temperatures

As the air mass at lower levels of the atmosphere progressively dries out over the next several days, Trinidad and Tobago will likely see cooler nights.

Minimum low temperatures across Trinidad, over the next 5 days, are expected to be between 21°C-22°C and likely lower across inland and mountainous areas. Lows in Tobago are expected to be milder, with temperatures reaching 23°C-24°C over the same 5 day period.

Maximum high temperatures across both islands are expected to be warm, between 30°C-32°C. However, breezy conditions are likely to make the “feels like” temperature, or heat index more bearable.

Related: Cool Start to February With Temperatures Dropping Below 18°C Across Parts of Trinidad

Seas

Over the next 5 days, seas are expected to remain moderate. Waves in open waters are forecast to remain up to 2.0 meters, occasionally reaching up to 2.2 meters.

In sheltered areas, seas are expected to remain smooth, below 1.0 meters.

Winds are expected to be from the east to northeast, at 15 to 20 knots.

Longer period swells are occurring, and are expected to end Wednesday into Thursday.

Saharan Dust For Carnival 2019

By Wednesday 27th February, mild concentrations of Saharan Dust are expected to return to Trinidad and Tobago skies.

For Trinidad and Tobago, based solely on the concentration of Saharan Dust (PM 2.5 & PM 10), air quality levels will be reduced to unhealthy for sensitive groups.

At this air quality level, there is an increasing likelihood of respiratory symptoms in sensitive individuals, aggravation of heart or lung disease and possible premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly. People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should limit prolonged exertion, particularly outdoors.

Air quality levels can even be reduced to unhealthy levels due to bushfires, particularly on Thursday.

EPA Air Quality Index Risk Levels

There is increased aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly at unhealthy levels. Increased respiratory effects in the general population may also occur. People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should avoid prolonged exertion. The general population should limit prolonged exertion.

NASA GEOS-5 Dust Extinction Aerosol Optical Thickness 00Z 26th February 2019 Model. Blue and magenta colors indicate higher concentrations of dust in the atmosphere near Trinidad and Tobago.

Much of the Saharan Dust will be deposited across the Atlantic Ocean and across Southern America. However, this dust event will be two-fold. The initial surge will move across Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday 27th February into Thursday 28th February. Thursday will be the initial peak concentration.

Saharan Dust forecast from the University of Athens SKIRON model, valid on 0Z UTC 26th February 2019.

A second, more widespread surge of dust is expected to blanket the Eastern Caribbean beginning Sunday 3rd March 2019, just in time for Carnival 2019 in Trinidad and Tobago.

Throughout the next 7 days, it is highly advised that persons with respiratory ailments take the necessary precautions, not limited to those listed below.

Saharan Dust Precautions
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