A huge cloud of sand from the Sahara desert has crossed the Atlantic and already covers the skies of several Caribbean islands. In Puerto Rico, atmospheric dust has enveloped the island, which had not experienced an event of this intensity for half a century. The cloud has led the authorities to classify the air as “very insane”, due to the large concentrations of sand, which can damage not only visibility, but also the health of people with respiratory problems.
The airport of the Puerto Rican capital, San Juan, was reduced by much the usual visibility in the area, because the cloud, in addition to its large size, travels at a lower altitude than on other previous occasions. The magnitude of the phenomenon, more than 6,500 kilometers in diameter, has caused that even in latitudes much more southern, such as those of Caracas in Venezuela, the phenomenon has been appreciated. The Caracas capital woke up fully covered this Sunday.
We fly over this Saharan dust cloud today, over the western-central Atlantic area. It is impressive how large the area it covers is! pic.twitter.com/JVGyo8LAXI
— Col. Doug Hurley (@Astro_Doug) June 21, 2020
The cloud continues its journey north and west and is expected to arrive in the US state of Texas later this week to provide, in addition to some respiratory problems, spectacular images of the sun covered by an ocher veil.
According to forecasts, the cloud will then turn east, to fly over the Mississippi River basin and even reach the US capital, Washington, and next week. José Álamo, a meteorologist with the United States National Meteorological Service in San Juan (Puerto Rico) predicts that the worst days in the United States will be Monday and Tuesday, Telemundo said.
The cloud has moved to the Caribbean and has prevented the formation of tropical cyclones. Except for the weak tropical storm Dolly, off the coast of New England, there has been no sudden phenomenon of this nature in recent days.