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Saharan dust expected to impact mid-Missouri: What will it look like?

Saharan dust is a phenomenon that occurs yearly, but in much a 2020 fashion, the one this year had to be the worst in... 50 years? That's according to several meteorological sources on the island of Puerto Rico who experienced the brunt of this dust event over the past 3 days.

Normally, a Saharan dust event will keep dust particles several thousands of feet in the atmosphere, but the size of this event is bringing lower visibility and air quality issues near the ground too.

It's important to distinguish this event, from a ground dust storm, sometimes called a Haboob. This is when dust from the ground is kicked up by a storm which can dramatically reduce visibility in a short period of time.

This weekend's event will be much more gradual and will not cause anywhere NEAR the amount of issues with visibility.

The closest comparison I could find to what our skies may eventually look like comes from photos that were taken on August 18th, 2018. For those who may or may not remember, this is when thick smoke from several massive wildfires in west coast of the U.S. and Canada. The smoke was transported several hundreds of miles to mid-Missouri.

It very well looks like we could be in for a repeat performance of this over the weekend... so get those cameras ready!

Insider Blog

Luke Victor

Luke Victor gives forecasts on ABC 17 News broadcasts and reports on weather stories on air and online, giving viewers and readers a deeper look at what causes different types of weather.


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