Atmospheric Dust Rivers: Saharan Dust Makes the Journey to the Americas

During June 2020 an enormous pulse of Saharan dust was forecast and observed to cross the Atlantic into the Caribbean and predicted to impact the US Gulf Coast states and be recirculated over the mid-Atlantic region as far north as Maryland and Pennsylvania. GEOS aerosol assimilation products show the progress of this event, from its origin over the Saharan Desert source regions and through its intercontinental transport and its extend over the US.

Early analysis of this event suggests that a high pressure weather system near Africa confined dust lifted over the Sahara Desert to swirling around over its source region before a shift of the weather system finally allowed the built up dust plume to emerge and be carried west by the prevailing winds. Read More.