A very dense layer of Saharan Dust will move over the local area on Friday, August 2nd, Saturday, August 3rd, and possibly Sunday, August 4th. This relatively dry and stable air mass will act to suppress shower development today and Saturday.
The Saharan Air Layer (SAL) is a mass of very dry, dusty air which forms over the Sahara Desert during the late spring, summer and early fall and usually moves out over the tropical North Atlantic Ocean every 3-5 days.
It creates hazy conditions. While this haze may not be an immediate threat, those with allergies or respiratory ailments may experience increased symptoms during the dust’s passing.
The SAL can have a significant negative impact on tropical cyclone intensity and formation. Its dry air can act to weaken a tropical cyclone by promoting downdrafts around the storm, while its strong winds can substantially increase the vertical wind shear in and around the storm environment.
The SAL can cover an area the size of the continental United States and has been tracked as far west as the Caribbean Sea, Central America and the Gulf of Mexico.