Increased Saharan Dust Forecast Throughout Week

Saharan Dust concentrations forecast remain across Trinidad and Tobago on throughout the week with some fluctuating concentrations. A moderate to heavy plume is forecast to arrive across T&T by the weekend.

Presently, mild concentrations of Saharan Dust is present across Trinidad and Tobago, enough to reduce air quality to moderate levels. Over the next 7 days, these dust levels are forecast to persist, with fluctuations in concentrations. Air quality across Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, St Lucia, and Martinique are at good levels, occasionally reducing to moderate levels.

EPA Air Quality Index (AQI) Risk Levels
EPA Air Quality Index (AQI) Risk Levels

At moderate air quality levels, unusually sensitive groups should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.

At unhealthy for sensitive groups: There is the 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.

Larger, more concentrated plumes of Saharan dust begin to occur in April and continue through November. This is due to stronger thunderstorms, typically associated with tropical waves, across interior Africa sending dust into the upper atmosphere.

 5-Day Air Quality Index For Trinidad and Tobago.
5-Day Air Quality Index For Trinidad and Tobago.
00Z May 5th 2019 NASA GEOS-5 Dust Model showing a “firehose” of Saharan Dust aimed at the Lesser Antilles. Increased concentrations and degraded air quality forecast. Credit: Weatherbell

Long range modeling indicates that fluctuating concentrations of Saharan Dust is forecast to persist across Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the remainder of the Southern Windwards through the first half of May.

Related: Saharan Dust

With dry conditions persisting, bush fires will be on the rise. In the presence of even mild Saharan Dust, air quality can quickly degrade to moderate and even unhealthy for sensitive groups. Sensitive groups such as persons with respiratory ailments, children, the elderly and cardiopulmonary disease should take the necessary precautions.

Saharan Dust Precautions
Saharan Dust Precautions

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