As of 6:00 PM Saturday 8th June 2019, Saharan Dust concentrations are moderate across Trinidad and Tobago with air quality at moderate levels. Air quality across the entire Eastern Caribbean are at moderate levels due to elevated concentrations of dust across the region. This dust is forecast to linger over the next 2 weeks, with fluctuating concentrations.
Presently, moderate to high concentrations of Saharan Dust is present across Trinidad and Tobago, with air quality at moderate levels. All islands across the Eastern Caribbean, extending into the Greater Antilles are experiencing moderate air quality as this dense plume of dust moves across the region. Although tropical waves are forecast to bring some brief and short-lived improvement across Trinidad and Tobago, the other islands aren’t so fortunate with elevated dust levels maintaining its presence over the next 2 weeks. Several surges of Saharan dust forecast over the next 7 days.
At moderate air quality levels, unusually sensitive groups should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.
Now that tropical waves are beginning to move across the Atlantic, Saharan Dust follows a more predictable pattern.
Hot, mostly sunny and slightly hazy conditions with mild concentrations of Saharan Dust are typical ahead of a tropical wave, as it has been over the last few days, as well as late Saturday into early Sunday.
Dust concentrations will decrease as the wave axis nears and passes over T&T, with showers and possible thunderstorms following the wave axis, as it will be late Sunday into Monday.
Then, a surge of dust is forecast to follow the showers and possible thunderstorms as the tropical wave progress westward, as will be the case by late Monday.
The concentration of the dust that follows the wave depends on the strength of the wave 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.
Larger, more concentrated plumes of Saharan dust begin to occur in April and continue through November.
Dust models continue to show, following the passage of tropical waves, mild to moderate concentrations of Saharan Dust moving across Trinidad and Tobago.
Sensitive groups such as persons with respiratory ailments, children, the elderly and cardiopulmonary disease should take the necessary precautions on days where dust concentrations degrade air quality to moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups.