Ten days ago, NASA's satellite spotted a massive dust storm blowing off the Sahara Desert and into the waters of the Atlantic Basin. At the time, we forecasted dust clouds were "headed for the Americas."
Fast forward today, millions of tons of Sahara's nutrient-laden minerals have been whisked across the Atlantic Ocean and are set to arrive in South Florida on Friday or Saturday.
Satellite footage shows the airborne dust particles have already blanketed parts of the Caribbean.
#SaharanDust has been on the move across the Atlantic for the past few weeks. So far, no clouds thick enough to make it to Texas before dissipating - and none on the horizon. #TXwx #OrangeHaze pic.twitter.com/JmxrvUo5N6— John Honoré (@JohnHonore) June 17, 2021
What to expect in South Florida?
Well, of course, dust can deteriorate air quality but also create milky, hazy colored skies.
According to NOAA, "Sunsets and sunrises take on more yellow and reddish hues because the low-angle sunlight passes through more of the atmosphere before it reaches your eyes. A heavy load of dust in the atmosphere can enhance this effect, leading to longer-lasting, duskier colors that cause vivid sunsets and sunrises."
This latest storm comes one year after the largest dust storm in two decades blanketed the Caribbean and even dimmed skies over US Gulf states.
Skywatchers are already reporting "some Saharan dust effect here in Florida this morning beautiful sunrise."