Home / India News / ‘Godzilla dust cloud’ travels 5,000 miles from Sahara to US, engulfs Florida, Texas
A massive dust storm from the Sahara desert engulfed parts of the mainland United States on Saturday, travelling over a distance of 5,000 miles.
NASA, which is tracking the plume of dust, said that such storms travelling across the Atlantic Ocean are nothing new but the one has been quite expansive.
The 3,500-mile-long cloud was dubbed the “Godzilla dust cloud” by climatologists.
An animation of various images gathered by NASA satellite shows the dust plume streamed from Africa’s west coast over the Atlantic into the Caribbean Sea and up through the Gulf of Mexico.
“It’s a really dry layer of air that contains these very fine dust particulates. It occurs every summer,” said National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Patrick Blood.
This year, the dust is the most dense it has been in a half a century, news agency Reuters reported quoting several meteorologists.
Saharan dust is causing unhealthy air quality across large sections of the South and Ohio Valley. Another bad air quality day is ahead tomorrow: https://t.co/PQW8IyqAeQ pic.twitter.com/pWidUnZnHc— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) June 27, 2020
The current dust storm is expected to hang over the region until the middle of next week, deteriorating the air quality in Texas, Florida and other states where the number of Covid-19 cases has recently spiked.
“There’s emerging evidence of potential interactions between air pollution and the risk of Covid, so at this stage we are concerned,” said Gregory Wellenius, a professor of environmental health at Boston University’s School of Public Health.
Air pollution can be especially detrimental for people who are at risk for or suffer from cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, Wellenius added. Heart and lung problems heighten the risk of severe Covid-19.
The plume created hazy skies and lower visibility, according to the pictures shared by many residents of FLorida, Texas and other US States.
Sahara dust arrives in New Orleans#SaharanDust #SaharanAirLayer #DustPlume pic.twitter.com/vyuU8ikMVV— Lizzie (@pi_lizzie) June 26, 2020 — Bill Wadell (@BillWadell) June 26, 2020
On June 18, NASA noted the thickest parts of the dust storm appeared to stretch about 1,500 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. By June 24, the plume extended over 5,000 miles.