Saharan Dust: What you need to know

6 Storm Team Weather School

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – There is a lot of buzz around a large Saharan Dust plume heading toward the Gulf next week. Here is what you need to know about this dusty phenomenon.

It is dust traveling from the African Plains across the Atlantic Ocean into the Caribbean and then into the Gulf States.

Saharan Dust is a common occurrence in June and July. The dust travels 5,000 to 15,000 feet up in the atmosphere.

About 180 million tons of dust make the trip each year, or about 700,000 tractor-trailer loads.

It has positive benefits. It inhibits the development of tropical storms and it can provide some stunning sunsets.

While common, we just don’t often see this large of a plume making it over.

Hopefully, we’ll able to see some nice sunsets even in East Tennessee.

This article is part of the WATE 6 Storm Weather School

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