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The much anticipated and forecasted Saharan dust from the deserts of Africa has arrived in Belize and its effects are clearly seen here on Ambergris Caye. The current Saharan dust episode is leading to the worst dust storm in the Caribbean in decades. From bright blue skies to a foggy gloom, the difference is obvious. СNN rероrtеd thаt thіѕ рlumе іѕ dеnѕе еnоugh tо оbѕсurе thе Аfrісаn соаѕtlіnе оn ѕаtеllіtе іmаgеrу and the forecast calls of the dust to be carried by trade winds straight from the Saharan Desert, across the Atlantic Ocean into the Caribbean and onwards to the Southeastern USA.

The Saharan Dust Effect on Ambergris Caye

Regular Skies Before Saharan Dust

The Saharan Dust Effect on Ambergris Caye

Gloomy Skies with Saharan Dust

It is unusual that the dust is forecast to travel over central America and the US with such high concentrations, Claire Ryder, NERC Independent Research Fellow at the University of Reading, told CNN Weather. The dust layer is so thick you can see it on weather satellites. Astronauts have also gotten a good view of it from the international space station. 

The good news to it all is that the dust puts a pause on tropical storm activity in the region as the dry air removes humidity that hurricanes need to form. Тhіѕ уеаr’ѕ hurrісаnе ѕеаѕоn іѕ ехресtеd tо bе аbоvе аvеrаgе аnd аt lеаѕt thrее nаmеd ѕtоrmѕ аnd оnе hurrісаnе hаvе fоrmеd еvеn bеfоrе thе ѕеаѕоn оffісіаllу ѕtаrtеd еаrlіеr thіѕ mоnth. Sometimes particles can make their way to the surface, greatly affecting those with sensitive allergies. Those tiny dust particles lofted tens of thousands of feet in the air do a great job of scattering the sun's rays at dusk and dawn, too, which gives way to stunning sunrises and sunsets. If you find yourself reaching for a tissue this week - or your iPhone to post yet another awesome sunset pic to Instagram - thank the Saharan dust. So, grab those cameras!

The Saharan Dust Effect on Ambergris Caye

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Dorian Nuñez

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