The monstrous size of the Saharan dust cloud trekking from Africa to the Gulf Coast has made meteorologists’ heads turn and has stirred up a conversation on how this year’s health impacts from the plume could be more concerning than others in the past.
This vast expanse of dust, known as the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), has been called the “Godzilla dust cloud,” as well as the “most significant event in the past 50 years,” by some experts, according to The Associated Press. By Wednesday afternoon, the leading edge of the dust plume had invaded the airspace over the Gulf of Mexico, satellite imagery showed. The system is forecast to lift out to the northeast between today, opening the door for thick dust to fill the skies over East Texas into tomorrow. Like it has in the Caribbean, the dust will bring reduced visibility and poor air quality from eastern Texas to Louisiana. It should make for a magnificent sunrise and set photo op.