Oh, a Godzilla like dust cloud is about to hit us in the United States? Pft, okay, yeah sure. That’s fine, it’s not like we weren’t expecting it. I mean, this is just another thing we can add to 2020, right? With everything that has been going on this year, I have to say this is the last thing I am actually worried about. We have murder hornets coming out from hiding, Cicadas emerging after 17 years, and the Coronavirus pandemic that is slowly coming back because we couldn’t stay at home long enough for health experts to find a cure. So yeah, Godzilla Dust Cloud doesn’t seem so scary.
What is the Godzilla Dust Cloud?
A vast thick dust cloud from the Sahara Desert is blanketing the Caribbean as it heads to the U.S. with mass and density that has not been seen in the past 50 years. The event has been nicknamed the “Godzilla dust cloud.” #godzilladustcloud #abcyny pic.twitter.com/apf2Tv6bLs
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) June 22, 2020
Well, according to the Guardian and meteorologists, a vast cloud of Sahara dust is reportedly blanketing the Caribbean as it heads to the United States with a concentration in size that experts believe hasn’t been seen in half a century. Air quality across the region reached record hazardous levels, and experts who nicknamed the event behind the terrifying monster warned people to stay indoors and use air filters if they had them.
According to Pablo Méndez Lázaro, an environmental health specialist at the University of Puerto Rico, “This is the most significant event in the past 50 years.” Conditions are dangerous in many Caribbean islands.” Okay, so yes, maybe we should panic a little bit…I kind of lied. Can you blame me? I’m trying to see the positive side of this situation.
We flew over this Saharan dust plume today in the west central Atlantic. Amazing how large an area it covers! pic.twitter.com/JVGyo8LAXI
— Col. Doug Hurley (@Astro_Doug) June 21, 2020
The main concern for many Health Specialists here is for those battling respiratory symptoms that were tied to the coronavirus pandemic. Lázaro, Who is working with NASA to develop an alert system for the arrival of the Sahara dust, saw that the concentration of the dust was so high in recent days, that it could even adverse effects on those who are healthy.
Limited visibility and extremely hazy conditions were reported from Antigua down to Trinidad & Tobago. People posted pictures of themselves on social media wearing double masks to help ward off both the coronavirus and the dust, while several other jokes of the Caribbean look like they in a yellow filter straight out of a movie.
Saharan Air Layer
— NWS Eastern Region (@NWSEastern) June 21, 2020
Jose Alamo, a meteorologist with the US National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico, said the worst day for the United States Territory will be Monday and Tuesday as it heads towards the U.S. Southeast Coast. The mass of extremely dusty and dry air is known as the Saharan Air Layer, forming over the Sahara desert. It moves all the way across the North Atlantic every three to five days during the northern hemisphere’s late spring to early autumn. It then peaks into late June to the middle of August, with a layer that can be 35m thick, this according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
According to NASA’s dust aerosol optical thickness model projects, much of the dust will dissipate in the Gulf of Mexico before it reaches any land. The remaining dust will then hit Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana, with Ohio seeing the last remnants this weekend. So, you better buckle up and stay inside ladies and gentlemen, because the wild wild west about to come to get you with some dusty air. Try telling me that climate change isn’t real. If this doesn’t prove that to you, I don’t know what will. Stay safe out there.
An updated (Monday June 22nd) computer model forecast of atmospheric dust for the next 10 days. pic.twitter.com/1nTg8vd9M7
— NWS Eastern Region (@NWSEastern) June 22, 2020