All islands across the Eastern Caribbean are experiencing good air quality levels as of 11:00 AM Tuesday 16th July 2019. Frequent tropical waves and the northward migration of the ITCZ is forecast to keep any Saharan Dust north of T&T for the next week or so. Across the Central and Northern Windwards, air quality may briefly dip to moderate levels, particularly on Wednesday and Friday.
Presently, minimal concentrations of Saharan Dust are present across Trinidad and Tobago and the Eastern Caribbean, with air quality at good levels. Note that the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) air quality monitoring stations are presently recording AQI values also at good levels.
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?
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.
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.
We’re moving into a period where the ITCZ begins to 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, as we move into July through September, these frequent tropical waves also aid in improving air quality.
Saharan Dust concentrations are forecast to be minimal throughout the remainder of the week. A mild surge of dust is forecast to begin on Wednesday and another on Friday but much of the increased concentrations of dust is forecast to affect islands north of Trinidad and Tobago, towards the Leewards.
Dust models continue to show, following the passage of tropical waves, mild concentrations of Saharan Dust moving across islands, mainly north of Trinidad and Tobago over the next several weeks.
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.