AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s that time of the year again when Saharan dust makes the long 5,000-mile trek all the way from the Saharan desert in Africa and across the Atlantic Ocean. You can see the Saharan dust Tuesday morning is already being carried by the easterly trade winds as far westward as the Caribbean Sea.
We expect winds to carry moderate concentrations of Saharan dust into Central Texas by next Monday, May 23. This will be our first dust plume of the season. Lower air quality and vibrant sunsets/hazy conditions is what we expect here from Central Texas down into the Texas Gulf.
We expect the air quality to lower to the higher range of the ‘moderate’ category by Sunday through Tuesday.
A moderate index means a small number of unusually sensitive people may have a few health concerns. The elderly and the very young — as well as people with asthma and other respiratory issues — are at the highest risk. It’s important for these people to limit their time outdoors.
It’s important to note Saharan dust is an irritant and not an allergy, so allergy medication will not work to prevent discomfort. It doesn’t cause sneezing or runny noses but can cause itchy eyes and a sore throat. Best prevention to avoid any discomfort is to limit your time outdoors or wear a facemask.
Click HERE for a live look at our weather cameras across Central Texas as we track the dust and increasing hazy weather.