Giant Sandstorm to hit US Southeast next week

Good thing you guys are all wearing your masks!  Yes, like a giant Death Tongue of Doom, a massive plume of dust is making its way across the Atlantic and will sweep across the US early next week.  Here is the view from GOES 16 at just before 7am Friday morning (19 June), infrared on the left, visual on the right …

Notice anything interesting?  On the IR image you can see the dust as a faint white dusting.  Recall that colder, likely convective tropical clouds are colored with yellow/red/orange being thunderstorms that, under the right conditions, can form the basis for tropical storms.  The dust itself isn’t so much a factor, it is the dry air it is carried in that suppresses formation of these storms, which means tropical systems are inhibited from forming.  This isn’t terribly unusual.  A NASA study estimated that winds over the Sahara pick up and carry around 182 million tons of sand across the ocean and dump it on the Western Hemisphere.  With the newer satellites we get better pictures, so that probably equates to more media coverage.

Here is the visual view of the sandstorm in all its glory.  On the ground  you probably won’t notice much other than the fact that sunrise/sets next week should be especially colorful. You’ll have to provide your own Tuba solo.

3 thoughts on “Giant Sandstorm to hit US Southeast next week

    • It should stay to the south, across the Southeastern US, Texas, etc. Again, this is mostly a “high altitude” kind of thing, for those under the plume, the sky will seem just a big dingy, and sunrise/sunset should be much more colorful.

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