February 24, 2021

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Puerto Rico dawns covered by a large cloud of dust from the Sahara

"A very impressive event."

This was described by the meteorologist Gabriel Lojero, of the National Meteorological Service (SNM), the event of dust from the Sahara desert that Today it affects the island, leaving the sky misty.

The expert pointed out that, as had been anticipated, today is the peak day for the presence of this particulate, so citizens should exercise caution if they have an agenda to carry out outdoor activities and suffer from respiratory conditions.

"It is expected that the strongest day will be today, it will be the worst day. Tomorrow we will have a lot of fog, but it is expected to be much less than today, so it will decrease. It is a very remarkable event "he established.

For example, he said that visibility at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, in Carolina, was reduced to five miles.

Lojero pointed out that for the experts In Chemical Sciences this layer of dust from the Sahara is a recent unprecedented fact. Likewise, he said that the medical community is closely monitoring the effects of this particulate due to the health problems that could be generated.

Less rain and more heat

The meteorologist warned that the events of Sahara dust brings dry air and high temperatures, so the heat and little rain activity will accompany us, at least, until tomorrow.

The maximum temperature for today will be in the low 90 degrees Fahrenheit with an index of heat that will fluctuate between 100 and 107 degrees.

Satellite image shows Puerto Rico covered in dust from the Sahara. (Noaa)

"When these events come, the temperatures at night remain high, since they do not drop below 80 degrees. This is what we have been seeing and when starting mornings with very high temperatures, it does not take much heating for it reaches 90 degrees ", he specified.

Regarding the rain, the expert indicated that downpours could form today in the afternoon in western sectors, but warned that they will be passengers.

" The dust from the Sahara brings dry air and dry air is not good for the development of downpours. It is expected that we will continue with this limited rainfall activity today and tomorrow. By Wednesday and Thursday the rainfall activity is increasing due to a humidity zone in the northeast and a trough will also be developed in the upper levels of the atmosphere that will help create more favorable conditions for downpours "he said.

He added that a tropical wave that could leave rains is expected by Friday means activities on sectors of the east of the island, an area that, according to Lojero, "desperately" needs rain to increase the level of the Carraízo reservoir of the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (AAA).

He described that this reservoir dawned today with 37.84 meters of water, which shows that it is decreasing between 10 to 12 centimeters daily.

" If this tropical wave on Friday does not produce significant rains, we will see Carraízo reaching the control level. This is how serious the situation is with the reservoir . We hope that this situation with the reservoir improves with the tropical wave, "he said, recalling that the island faces a rainfall deficit for about two months.

Finally, he indicated that small boat operators should exercise caution, since the swell is between three to six feet and there is a moderate risk of dangerous ocean currents for most of Puerto Rico's beaches.

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