Saharan Dust Cloud Settles in Over Southeastern US

@moffittjc (100621)
Gainesville, Florida
June 26, 2020 1:26pm CST
Although we've known for a week that the massive Saharan dust cloud working its way across the Atlantic Ocean would eventually make its way into the US, the word we kept getting here in north Florida was that we'd escape the worst of it. Now, it doesn't quite appear to be so. When I left for work this morning, it was so hazy that I could barely see the sun rising in the eastern sky. Now, as we approach mid afternoon, the Saharan dust is so thick here that there is an eerie darkness to the daylight, as if it is almost dusk. We've had several air quality alerts issued already, warning that conditions are bad enough that people should stay indoors as much as possible. There is already a thick layer of dust on all the vehicles, roads and grounds. And this is just the first of what looks to be 4-5 days of heavy dust moving through the area. For my fellow US myLotters, has the dust affected you at all, or is it forecast to affect you? Looks like I'll be staying inside all weekend. Photo courtesy of the Weather Channel
20 people like this
21 responses
@CarolDM (157203)
• United States
26 Jun 20
I have wondered if this was impacting anyone here. Suppose to get it here the weekend. Stay safe.
2 people like this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
26 Jun 20
They told us last night that we would barely get any of the dust in our locale. They were a little wrong.
2 people like this
@CarolDM (157203)
• United States
26 Jun 20
@moffittjc That happens often.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
26 Jun 20
@CarolDM I should have known better than to trust them! Lol
1 person likes this
@simone10 (54629)
• Louisville, Kentucky
27 Jun 20
We should be getting it soon but I'm not sure when.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
27 Jun 20
It will probably take a couple of days to reach you. Hopefully it won't be as bad by the time it reaches you as it is now here in the south.
1 person likes this
@simone10 (54629)
• Louisville, Kentucky
2 Jul 20
@moffittjc it was supposed to have reached us by now, but if it has, I haven't seen it.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
3 Jul 20
@simone10 It either dissipated or stayed more to the east. Either way, consider yourself lucky.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (90281)
• El Paso, Texas
26 Jun 20
That looks downright nasty, I hate dust storms, they make it really hard to breath plus they dry out a lot of plants. Not to be rude, but we get enough of our own dust storms so I'm hoping this one will fall short of the southwest area I'm in.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
26 Jun 20
I'm sure where you live you are quite familiar with dust storms. This great Saharan dust cloud that we're experiencing now is something we get every year around this time, so it's not like we've never seen it before. But they're saying it's much thicker this year than in past years.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (90281)
• El Paso, Texas
27 Jun 20
This whole year has been full of worsening conditions @moffittjc Mother Nature is showing us just exactly what she will do when she's pissed off.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
27 Jun 20
@rebelann I guess we're in trouble once Mother Nature gets pissed off at us!
1 person likes this
@thelme55 (72886)
• Germany
28 Jun 20
That sounds bad. I don´t think the Sahara dust will come here.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
28 Jun 20
Yes, I think you are safe from all that dust. The dust gets sucked up into the tradewinds, which blow it across the Atlantic Ocean. It is fairly typical for this to happen during the late spring and early summer months. But for some reason the dust is much worse this year than in previous years. They are saying it's the worst Saharan dust we've had in 15 years.
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@thelme55 (72886)
• Germany
28 Jun 20
@moffittjc I see. That is really new information to me. Thanks.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
28 Jun 20
@thelme55 Just consider yourself lucky that you don't have to deal with all that dust!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (254989)
• Rockingham, Australia
27 Jun 20
This wouldn't be good news for anyone with respiratory ailments. There was a dust storm over one town we live in (though not from the Sahara) and the distributors in many of the cars in the area were failing. Although the distributor was sealed, the dust was so fine it was getting in.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
27 Jun 20
I can tell my truck engine hasn't been running as smooth the last couple of days. Nothing major, but I can tell there's a slight difference in how smoothly the engine runs. And I can imagine all this dust is wrecking havoc on the airline industry.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (254989)
• Rockingham, Australia
28 Jun 20
@moffittjc Hopefully they're taking very good care of their aircraft.
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@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
28 Jun 20
@JudyEv I wonder how they get the jet engines to perform optimally in flight, given all that dust? I know that whenever there are volcanic eruptions, they tend to re-route flight paths out of the way of the ash plumes. But in the case of all this dust, it is blanketing the entire state of Florida, so they can't just re-route flights. Planes are landing and taking off daily from all our airports. I guess maybe the dust ins't a big enough concern for them to worry about.
1 person likes this
@LindaOHio (76155)
• United States
26 Jun 20
I haven't heard anything about it coming up to Ohio. I'm really sorry you are suffering from it. Weather is amazing, isn't it? To come all the way from the Sahara Desert!!!!!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
26 Jun 20
Yeah, that's crazy to imagine all that dust gets kicked up into the atmosphere and then travels 5000 miles across the ocean to reach us!
1 person likes this
@LindaOHio (76155)
• United States
27 Jun 20
@moffittjc Freaky!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
27 Jun 20
@LindaOHio Despite their claims that the significant amount of dust in the atmosphere stymies storm development, and despite the fact that the dust was so thick in the air this morning that it seemed like you could cut it with a knife, we got some pretty wicked thunderstorms this afternoon that dumped tons of rain on us. It also helped clear a lot of that dust out of the air and helped wash it off of our vehicles.
1 person likes this
@dgobucks226 (28236)
28 Jun 20
I can't ever remember having any dust storms up my way. Is it common in Florida? I lived there for a year in Fort Myers and never experienced one. Although I did experience a hurricane in 2005
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
28 Jun 20
They happen every year, usually in the spring, but most of the time it's pretty mild and hardly noticeable. This year just happens to be a bad year for the dust. They say the last bad one we had was about 20 years ago, so that would have been before the time you were here.
1 person likes this
@dgobucks226 (28236)
1 Jul 20
@moffittjc I see. Fortunately these storms are not frequent. Not like the Florida fires during the dry season in summer.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
2 Jul 20
@dgobucks226 Actually, our dry season is in the spring, usually between March-May. By the time summer rolls around, our rainy season hits. Although there are some years where the dry season stretches out to about June before we start seeing some relief.
1 person likes this
@much2say (51116)
• Los Angeles, California
26 Jun 20
I've been reading about that and wondered how it would be if it hit us. Stupid question but how does it actually feel when you go outside . . . actually "dusty" or like a fog? I wonder how far this will travel - we don't feel it on the west coast.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
26 Jun 20
Honestly, I can’t really “feel” anything outside. Other than seeing the hazy sky, and seeing the layer of dust on my truck, it doesn’t feel any different than any other normal day. Although, I haven’t been outside long enough to know if it would affect my breathing or not. I haven’t been coughing or sneezing so far, but I guess I’ll know more closer to this evening when I go for a run.
1 person likes this
@much2say (51116)
• Los Angeles, California
26 Jun 20
@moffittjc Ah, maybe like bad smog here . I know if we feel the dust, we'd certainly be breathing it in. Be careful out there!! Hey, are you feeling pretty 100% now?
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
26 Jun 20
@much2say Yes, I've been feeling absolutely great! I started running again on a daily basis (before I was only doing it once or twice a week), and I have noticed a huge difference in how good I feel.
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (61547)
• United States
27 Jun 20
Oh my, I wonder if Ocala got it too!!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
28 Jun 20
Yes, the dust plume is actually covering most of the state now. But you shouldn't have anything to worry about at your home in Ocala.
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@BelleStarr (61547)
• United States
29 Jun 20
@moffittjc I was more concerned about my sister in law who has breathing issues
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@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
30 Jun 20
@BelleStarr They did issue quite a few air quality alerts, so I'm hoping she saw them and took steps to avoid going outside and breathing all that dust.
1 person likes this
@oahuwriter (17722)
• United States
26 Jun 20
This is how it really is...wow! Seeing on news is not enough. We are having nice summer weather, with breezes so it's good on Oahu, Hawaii. News say the dust storm stops hurricane.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
26 Jun 20
That's the only good news about all this dust, is that we don't have to worry about the development of hurricanes right now. But once all the dust is gone, then the potential for tropical development will resume.
1 person likes this
@oahuwriter (17722)
• United States
30 Jun 20
@moffittjc There is Saint Medardus to pray to for protection. I'll find a link about him. But, whether prayers or not still safer to listen to officials .
1 person likes this
@oahuwriter (17722)
• United States
30 Jun 20
http://faith.nd.edu/s/1210/faith/interior.aspx?sid=1210&gid=609&pgid=46141&cid=88485&ecid=88485&crid=0
@DianneN (238154)
• United States
26 Jun 20
I've been in the real Sahara Desert. Thank goodness we aren't affected by it.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (238154)
• United States
26 Jun 20
@moffittjc They are crummy, but not half as awful as the Sahara. It doesn't end.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
27 Jun 20
@DianneN I can imagine how bad it must be to see that desert just continue on indefinitely as far as the eye can see.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (238154)
• United States
27 Jun 20
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@just4him (254996)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
27 Jun 20
I'm sorry it's affecting you so heavily. No, nothing here. It's a beautiful day here, a bit muggy with the humidity, but nice.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
28 Jun 20
They say it should clear out by the end of the day on Monday. Not surprisingly, starting Tuesday our rain chances increase significantly. All this dust has been suppressing storm development, so I guess starting Tuesday we're going to get a lot of rain as all that moisture in the atmosphere will finally manifest itself into thunderstorms.
1 person likes this
@just4him (254996)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
28 Jun 20
@moffittjc It will wash away all the dust.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
28 Jun 20
@just4him It sure will!
1 person likes this
• Leesburg, Georgia
27 Jun 20
My allergies seem to be worse yesterday and this morning, I've been sneezing and stuffy but that's it. I have a wedding today so I will be outside today. =)
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
27 Jun 20
Be careful out there! I'm not sure if the big plume of dust has made it up into Georgia yet, but if it does I hope it doesn't worsen your allergies too much!
1 person likes this
• Leesburg, Georgia
27 Jun 20
@moffittjc I don't know either but my allergies are kicking my hiney either way! Lol.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
27 Jun 20
@LovingMyBabies Oh goodness! Are you taking anything for them? You want to make sure those allergies are under control before that wedding!
• Pamplona, Spain
20 Jul 20
Had those kind of storms here too which seems more natural as to being where we are and the air the last time was thick with the dusty sand stuff and it plastered all of the cars and there was a never ending storm for three whole days too and it was as dark as anything yet the weatherman never batted an eyelid saying this too shall pass just like that very scary stuff.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Jul 20
Did all that dust come from Africa?
1 person likes this
• Pamplona, Spain
21 Jul 20
@moffittjc Yes it was from the North of Africa its not very far from us and I imagine that Morocco had a taste of it as well being where they are and also the surrounding countries but again the weatherman never bothered to explain it at all like it just was and that was it I mean now they take a lot of time to explain all the odd things going on. it.
1 person likes this
@noni1959 (8762)
• United States
29 Jun 20
I read about this. It's crazy. I hope you all are safe and don't get ill from it.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
30 Jun 20
Nope, didn't get sick. It's all good now. All that dust cleared out yesterday. Although I did hear on the news last night that another wave of dust is making its way across the Atlantic. I don't think this next wave is going to be as bad though.
1 person likes this
@noni1959 (8762)
• United States
2 Jul 20
@moffittjc I'm glad you are doing well. It missed my oldest as well. They were in Texas (on their way here to Oregon right now.)
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@marlina (132625)
• Canada
19 Jul 20
Just wondering if "the dust settled" over there????????
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Jul 20
Oh yes, it only lasted about a week and then cleared out. We're mostly back to normal with our typical hot and humid summer days.
@sallypup (48869)
• Moses Lake, Washington
1 Jul 20
How awful for you. I'm too far West for that cloud to affect me.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
1 Jul 20
It's actually not that bad. Just really hazy skies for a few days. I thought it would affect my allergies and breathing worse than it did. The first day was a little rough, but then I guess I got used to it.
1 person likes this
@JESSY3236 (15143)
• United States
30 Jun 20
The dust didn't really affect me on Saturday, but we had a code yellow on the air quality on Sunday so me and Lily stayed indoors.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
1 Jul 20
We had code yellow most of the time, but I think we went to code red on at least 2 days.
1 person likes this
@Jessicalynnt (50611)
• Centralia, Missouri
27 Jun 20
I wondered if you'd been affected by this yet
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
27 Jun 20
Yep, we're in the thick of it now. And I mean thick!
@wolfgirl569 (48806)
• Marion, Ohio
26 Jun 20
I havent heard if we will get it or not.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (100621)
• Gainesville, Florida
26 Jun 20
Not sure which way it's going to head after it hits the southeast. Knowing the way our jet stream works, it will probably travel up the eastern coast.
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