Saharan Dust could affect Central Virginia

Weather

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – There has been a lot of talk about the Saharan dust plume that is headed toward the United States. 

While it is not unusual to have Saharan dust in our skies what makes this event unique is the size of the plume which right now stretches from the coast of Africa all the way into the Caribbean Islands.

Over the next couple of days, that area of dust will move into the Gulf of Mexico and then slide up into the Southeastern sections of the United States, the Tennessee Valley, the southern Midwest and even the Mid-Atlantic. 

Saharan dust Q&A: Densest plume in decades bringing hazy, colorful skies to Gulf coast

Now Saharan dust does help us limit the development of tropical systems so that is a good side of it and the other thing it does is it gives us the possibility some dramatic sunrises and sunsets with lots of colors in the sky. 

However, the big concern will be our air quality! It is expected to get much worse as we head into the end of the weekend and early next week. 

In fact, we could be looking at some very unhealthy levels of air quality, so those that suffer from asthma, emphysema, COPD or any respiratory ailments may want to refrain from staying outside for long periods of time because you may encounter difficulty breathing.

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