ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — A large plume of dust off the eastern coast of Africa is making its usual trip across the Atlantic Ocean with its sights on the United States.
Its name is the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) and is common to occur in summer. When in the right formation, it can be cloud condensation nuclei for water particles across the ocean.
In other formations and quantities it can help squash hurricane activity. That is a much more common result as it can help prevent from thunderstorm formation and eventual cyclogenesis.
There are no expected impacts on Western New York at this time.
This year it is in a very large quantity and can provide vivid sunrises and sunsets for when it suspends in air during these times. It is extremely unlikely that we will see any impact here in Western New York. Even if the dust makes it this far north, it will likely be in too low quantities for us to notice.
Many are saying that this could be the worst dust cloud we have ever seen in over 50 years. It may have some respiratory concerns for those that are in the thickest part of the plume. Again it will have very little to no impact in Western New York.
The forecast for this dust plume is to push into Texas and Florida through the weekend as it gets carried by the upper-level jet stream. As it spreads across the southern United States the dust will slowly dissipate.
Look on social media for images that show the dust plume spreading across the United States.