Good Air Quality Through Sunday, Surge of Saharan Dust Forecast Next Week

Air quality across the entire Eastern Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago are at good levels, with no surges of Saharan Dust forecast through the next 6 days. Enjoy the outdoors! A surge of dust is expected by the beginning of next week.

All islands across the Eastern Caribbean are experiencing good air quality levels, based on U.S. standards as of 10:00 AM Monday 9th December 2019. No surges of Saharan Dust is forecast to move across the region through the next 6 days, though minimal concentrations will remain in our atmosphere throughout the week. This is normal. Air quality is forecast to remain at good levels throughout the week and end of the weekend.

The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) air quality monitoring stations are presently recording AQI values at good levels, based on T&T’s air quality standards, while other air quality monitoring stations are reporting air quality at good levels, based on United States standards.

Visibility across Trinidad and Tobago remains at 10 Kilometers and above.

Air Quality Index at Environmental Management Agency‘s (EMA) Air Quality Monitoring Stations Across Trinidad. Note these AQI values are to Trinidad and Tobago air quality standards.

What we expect

Based on the latest dust modeling, no surges of dust are forecast to move across the region over the next 5-6 days.

00Z December 9th, 2019 CAMS Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Tropical Atlantic Dust Aerosol Optical Depth showing the thicker plumes of Saharan Dust mainly remaining across the Eastern Atlantic. Credit: Weathermodels.com
00Z December 9th, 2019 CAMS Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Tropical Atlantic Dust Aerosol Optical Depth showing the thicker plumes of Saharan Dust mainly remaining across the Eastern Atlantic. Credit: Weathermodels.com
5-Day Air Quality Index (based on United States EPA Standards), Saharan Dust Forecast For Trinidad and Tobago. With no Saharan Dust forecast to surge across the region, air quality remains at good levels.
5-Day Air Quality Index (based on United States EPA Standards), Saharan Dust Forecast For Trinidad and Tobago. With no Saharan Dust forecast to surge across the region, air quality remains at good levels.

Generally, through the next 5 days, air quality is forecast to remain at good levels across Trinidad and Tobago. However, by Monday 16th December 2019, a mild surge of Saharan Dust is forecast to begin moving across the Lesser Antilles.

What does this mean for you?

For the general population through the end of the week, little to no impacts are forecast. For very sensitive groups, particularly those that have respiratory ailments, you may still continue to experience some difficulty in breathing, particularly during peak traffic periods.

Good Air Quality

Good Air Quality

AQI – 0 to 50

What does this mean for you?

At this level, air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk to public health. It’s a great day to be active outside.

Who needs to be concerned?

No one.

What should you do?

Sensitive Groups: Sensitive groups, children and the elderly do not need special protection.

Air purification: It is recommended to run an air purifier in auto-mode, so it automatically reacts to changes in air quality.

Ventilation: It is good for ventilation.

Masks: No masks are needed.

Outdoor Activity: Very suitable for outdoor exercise and activities.  

We’re in a period where a ridge of high pressure stays over the central Sahara Desert, and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) remains over the Gulf of Guinea.

The Harmattan wind accelerates when it blows across the mountain massifs of Northwest Africa. If its speed is high enough and it blows over dust source regions, it lifts the dust and disperses it.

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

These Saharan Dust outbreaks tend to be milder in the Eastern Caribbean than the dust outbreaks associated with West African thunderstorms driving dust into the upper atmosphere from April through November.

Sensitive groups such as persons with respiratory ailments, children, the elderly and cardiopulmonary disease should take the necessary precautions during periods of reduced air quality.

Saharan Dust Precautions
Saharan Dust Precautions

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