Saharan dust prompting an Air Quality Alert in south Louisiana
Saharan dust continues to decrease air quality in south Louisiana.
Tuesday is an Air Quality Alert Day for the Baton Rouge area. Poor air quality is due to Saharan dust lingering in the air with nowhere to go. You may have noticed the haze on the horizon this morning. Southwesterly winds transport tiny dust particles from the Sahara desert in Africa all the way to the Gulf coast. This happens all the time. The dust particles are very small and they can usually mix into the air enough that they are not noticeable or harmful.
The current weather pattern is changing things up. High pressure is promoting a strong southeasterly flow in the upper atmosphere, bringing in more dust. Meanwhile, it is also preventing that dust from mixing around. That’s why we are on day two of an Air Quality Alert.
Poor air quality could be unhealthy for sensitive groups such as people with any kind of lung disease or heart disease, young children, or the elderly.
A high concentration of dust in the atmosphere does have a perk! A dusty, dry layer of the atmosphere prevents tropical development. It is harder for clouds to form without sufficient moisture.
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