Sahara Dust Storm


Economist by Profession
Jan 20, 2003
Here is a recent satellite image of Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico under the current Saharan dust storm.

For anyone not in the know, dust storms form all the time on the Sahara desert in northern Africa. These storms eventually reach the coast and large quantities of dust is deposited in the ocean by the winds. Some of these storms are severe enough that they travel across the ocean and reach the Caribbean islands and even parts of the Florida peninsula, Mexico, and Central America. The current Sahara dust affecting the Caribbean is one of the most intense in recorded history.

Usually, people that suffer from chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma, will notice a more often flare up of their symptoms when the Sahara dust is over the DR. Given that this is one of the most intense Sahara dust in history that has reach the DR, people with respiratory illnesses should take more precautions than they do during 'normal' Sahara dust storms in the DR. Wearing masks could come in handy in alleviating the conditions, IMO. Having an air purifier in the home could also help. Just two days ago an annoucement came up as I was on the internet about a portable air purifier attached to a mask. I don't know how effective it is, but it exist and it is for sale. lol

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