NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — You may have heard about the large plume of Saharan dust currently moving across the Atlantic and Caribbean. This is the Saharan Air Layer a dry, dusty layer of air originates over the Saharan desert and is about 2 to 2.5 miles thick and the base starts about 1 mile up in the atmosphere.
We typically see Saharan dust working its way across the Atlantic starting in June and continuing through about mid-August. While this is not an uncommon phenomenon, the Saharan Air Layer this year is larger and thicker than usual.
The Saharan Air Layer is set to make its way into the United States over the next few days. We could see this layer over Middle Tennessee by the weekend. Currently, the Caribbean is dealing with very hazy conditions due to dust.
There are a few impacts that Saharan dust can have. First, this layer tends to diminish tropical activity, that’s a good thing! It can also produce vivid sunrises and sunsets. But, Saharan dust can reduce air quality, so if you are sensitive, you may feel the impact this weekend.