How Saharan dust helps keep the tropics quiet


AUSTIN (KXAN) — For several weeks this summer, we’ve seen dust particles from Africa make its way across the Atlantic Ocean and into Texas. 

This trend typically happens during the summertime when huge plumes of dust come west from the Sahara Desert. The dust actually suppresses hurricane formation in the Atlantic, which is one of the reasons why we haven’t seen much activity in the tropics. 

According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), so far, the season has seen four named storms, including two hurricanes. NOAA says cooler than average sea surface temperatures are also helping produce a less active Atlantic hurricane season. 

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