Sahara Dust to Linger for Days

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Wednesday 4th April, 2018 –The Meteorological Office is cautioning the public about a surge of Sahara Dust expected across the island starting (Wednesday) through Sunday.

In a bulletin, the met office outlined that as the dust covers the island, visibility will be reduced. They have placed the alert level at II and the Air Quality Index at Moderate.

The presence of Sahara Dust can result in health complications for people who suffer from asthma and other respiratory issues.

Unusually sensitive people are being urged to consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion. Active children and adults, and people with respiratory diseases are also being cautioned to limit prolonged outdoor exertion.

Deputy Director of the Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Office, Dale Destin says Sahara Dust moves through the region all year, but at certain times, it is more prevalent.

Sahara Dust can be lifted by convection over hot desert areas, and can thus reach very high altitudes; from there it can be transported worldwide by winds, covering distances of thousands of kilometers. Due to the trade winds, very large concentrations of mineral dust can be found in the tropical Atlantic, reaching the Caribbean.

The impact of the dust on health is said to be caused mainly by the bacterial and fungal spores it contains.