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The dust is here. Now what?

Enjoy the good and watch out for the bad

Our KPRC2 City Cam this morning of hazy skies
Our KPRC2 City Cam this morning of hazy skies

If you’ve looked outside this morning, that’s not just cloud cover! The Saharan dust I’ve been blogging about for days has arrived in buckets. Literally. Ann Vinn’s clean bucket picked up a sandy rain yesterday and Angela found a film of sand on her pool deck. They posted on Click2Pins:

Ann Vinn's bucket of water and sand and Angela's pool deck. Thanks click2pinners!
Ann Vinn's bucket of water and sand and Angela's pool deck. Thanks click2pinners!

In fact, this load of sand is the MOST we’ve recorded since satellite monitoring began in 2002. Aerosol Optical Depth, or AOD, measures how a beam of light passes through the sand and you can see from the chart below that a 1.0 is average. Last year, 2019, we had the lowest reading, measuring a 0.6 AOD daily average. This year we’re measuring 60% more than average and the highest on record at 1.6 AOD!

Saharan Dust measurement indicating the heaviest cloud recorded
Saharan Dust measurement indicating the heaviest cloud recorded

So here’s the bad part: the air quality is unhealthy.

Unhealthy AQI
Unhealthy AQI

You can protect yourself by staying indoors, avoiding vigorous exercise, and when outside -- guess what -- WEAR A MASK! Who knew?

As for the upside of Saharan dust, take a look at last night’s sunset Click2Pin from David Reynolds of Digital Knight Productions:

Fabulous Saharan Dust sunset last night! from David Reynolds of Digital Knight Productions
Fabulous Saharan Dust sunset last night! from David Reynolds of Digital Knight Productions

So how long will this last? Through the weekend and then we will look for more dust heading our way as the month of July rolls in. Here’s the latest dust coming off Africa and you can see plenty of the pink color which tells me there is more on the way. Don’t worry, I won’t constantly blog about it anymore!

More Dust coming
More Dust coming

Enjoy your weekend, wear a mask where you should, and to my viewer who asked if Saharan dust brings in mosquitoes with West Nile Virus the answer is “no” but that did make me laugh, so thank you! We all need to laugh more these days!

Cheers,

Frank

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