The Saharan Air Layer (SAL)

Based on information from St. Kitts Meteorological Services, the Federation is presently being affected by a plume of Saharan dust that is making its way across the Caribbean. This mass of very dusty air was formed over the Sahara Desert on the West Coast of Africa and was transported by easterly trade winds westward across the northern Atlantic to the Lesser Antilles.

This is a regular phenomenon that occurs between March to September each year.
This Saharan Air Layer (SAL) will impact the Federation in the following two (2) ways:

1. A Difference in the Sky
The blanket of tiny dust particles creates a hazy sky. We are informed that it will be most dense today Monday, June 22, 2020. The dust particles also contribute to spectacular sunrises and sunsets that can be observed in the Caribbean islands, South Florida and the US Gulf Coast.

2. Increase in Complaints Related to Allergies
This increase in airborne particulates and dust can be irritating for individuals already diagnosed with allergies and respiratory conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Persons can experience the following symptoms when outdoors and exposed to these pollutants: (1) itchy eyes, (2) burning eyes, (3) runny nose, (4) sneezing and, if asthmatic, you
can experience chest tightness and even wheezing. Such individuals may have to seek medical care.

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