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Hurricanes, Rain, Temperature: How Saharan Dust is Impacting Us in Florida

Posted by Jimmy Hawley on Sep 19, 2018 4:03:12 PM

We’ve been hearing a lot of buzz this summer around Saharan dust, as the African desert mass made its way across the Atlantic Ocean this July.

The brown haze has blown thousands of miles west, impacting large parts of Texas and our very own Southwest Florida. But what does this mean for you?

Well, there’s good news and bad news. Let’s look at how these plumes from the Sahara could affect you and your family:

It’s Going to be Hot

Studies have shown that this Saharan dust traps heat. Think of the haze as a heated blanket with the state of Florida under its covers.

Because of this insulation, temperatures have felt sweltering for us these past few weeks. Texas experienced record-high temperatures mid July too, with 100 degree heat hitting many days throughout the month.

Even the nights have been hot, with the dust trapping temperatures and not allowing drastic cool-downs in the evenings. With this heat, many weather stations across the Florida Peninsula have cautioned against dehydration— so this summer season, drink lots of water.


Air Quality is a Concern

Weather Models meteorologist Ryan Maue said that this African dust will make our air quality be much “like experiencing the desert itself.” This dense plume of air could affect those with allergies or respiratory issues, causing trouble breathing or mild irritation. Some can even feel or see a hazing effect in the air.

Texas was hit worse, with AirNow cautioning people with heart or lung disease to avoid heavy outdoor exertion.

Miami News 7 too cautioned against outdoor activity for those sensitive to the particles, but luckily, the air quality levels have been rated “moderate” for our state thus far. Florida sufferers should still keep up with local weather alerts to stay informed.

We Could Have Less Thunderstorms

Again, we have to remember that this dust is extremely dry and that “dry air causes more suppression of thunderstorms,” according to Chris Davis, a senior scientist and associate director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

Rain chances may be lower while experiencing these African plumes, so keep an eye on the weather patterns.

The Dust is Subduing Hurricanes

Less intense thunderstorms mean, consequently, less hurricanes. Eric Berger, editor of the Space City Weather tell us that "there is no question that dust disrupts the development of hurricanes, because dry air inhibits the development of thunderstorms that fuel a storm."

How does it work? Hurricanes are powered by wet tropical air. The dust floats over the Atlantic Ocean, creating a dry, dusty haze overtop the water and preventing hurricanes from forming.

Curious as to how hurricanes form? Read our article all about it and this one on hurricane terminology to discover the difference between a hurricane watch vs. warning, the different types of storms and more.

It’s Always Good to be Prepared

This dust could mean less worry about hurricanes for us right now, but not going to hover over Florida forever.

Hurricane season in Florida runs until the end of November, but most storms hit peak during August through October, according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center. And unfortunately, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted our hurricane season could be “above-normal” in 2018.

At Storm Solutions, we’re here to ensure you’re prepared all season long. Our impact windows, doors, garage doors, hurricane shutters, glass lanais and folding glass walls can help protect you and your family from violent storms and hurricanes. Contact us today to safeguard your home.

Hurricane Guide

Topics: Hurricane