Saharan dust clouds St. John

“Up in  the air!  It’s a [email protected]!  It’s a plane!  No,  it’s …. who knows?  It’s so cloudy you can’t see anything.”

Well, that will give you the favor of what’s been going on in the skies over the islands this week.  Millions of tons of dust … yes, millions … from the Saharan Dust have again been carried by the winds, thousands of miles over the ocean and the Virgin Islands and onto the US mainland.

Dust

Copyright: AccuWeather, Great Expectations

Meghan Evans, meteorologist with the AccuWeather, posted a blog item this week featuring a couple of screen grabs from the Webcam at the Great Expectations villa.  “Before” and “After” as it were.  The image on the left is from Tuesday morning, with hazy skies.  By mid-afternoon, the dust had passed on.

“This is the largest concentration of dust that I have seen making it that far west this year,” she said.

While it does obscure the island’s beauty, there are a couple of good things about the dust. 

  • First, all that stuff in the air can yield gorgeous sunsets, as the setting light reflects off the billions of granules in the air.
  • Second, the large clouds of dust “are associated with large zones of dry air, the Meterologist said. “Which is an inhibiting factor for tropical storms and hurricanes,” Evans said.  She said this has been one of the factors in the recent quiet state of the tropics in the Atlantic.

While Tuesday’s cloud moved on, AccuWeather said there’s another one on the way.

1 thought on “Saharan dust clouds St. John”

  1. There are lot of worse things the dust brings with it than obscuring the beauty! African dust transports pathogens and toxins, and is a potential source of the fungus that causes aspergillosis in sea fans.
    Also, high levels of particulate matter in the air that we breath can cause a variety of adverse health effects in humans, including asthma.
    Do you know what the dustiest national park in the United States is? Not the Grand Canyon or Death Valley – it’s the Virgin Islands!

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