April 11, 2021

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Large cloud of dust from the Sahara that will reach the Caribbean tomorrow will affect Puerto Rico in a minimal way


The vast cloud of sahara dust that will arrive tomorrow in the Caribbean Sea area will not directly affect Puerto Rico because the wind will change direction and keep particulate matter away.

This was explained by meteorologist David Sánchez of the National Meteorological Service (SNM) when describing the images of the climatological models that anticipate that the strongest concentration of the haze will be over South America and not near the local region.

“This cloud will not affect us. In fact, its intensity is nothing compared to what happens in summer. It will not affect us, because a high pressure is developing to the north and those winds from the northeast maintain the concentration to the south of the island “, detailed the expert in a telephone interview with The new day.

However, the expert pointed out that it is possible that some Saharan particulate will arrive on the island during the morning of Wednesday, but it will not be significant.

“The aerosol model has everything very light in terms of intensity and everything clean for Puerto Rico. But there could be something very minimal. Regardless of the intensity of this particulate, its impact on us will be minimal, “said Sánchez.

According to the models, a mass of Saharan dust is not in sight over Puerto Rico for about a week.

Currently, the aerosol map shows orange to red areas near or on the island, but what that means is that there is a lot of dry air in the region, according to Sánchez.

“When you see the map you think there is dust from the Sahara, but it is not like that. What there is is a lot of dry air, which is what the map recognizes. When there is dust from the Sahara that is usually shown with scales of colors in pink, but right now there is not near or above us ”, explained the meteorologist.

Map showing areas of dry air over or near the Puerto Rico region in orange and yellow. The satellite image does not identify dusty areas of the Sahara on the island. (UW-CIMSS-NOAA-HRD)

In climatology, the events of abundant dust from the Sahara that reaches the Caribbean area are expected during the hurricane season, with peaks in the summer months, according to Sánchez.

“In those months, an almost purely eastern wind current dominates that catches the entire Atlantic and in that wind current comes the dust from the Sahara that reaches us. That is why it is seen that between tropical waves there may be dust from the Sahara or that it simply reaches us directly. That happens in those months ”, the expert pointed out.



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