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DPNR ALERT: Saharan Dust Presents An Air Pollution Hazard … At Its Peak Right Now

THIS SATELLITE MAP SHOWS WHERE TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO IS IN THE CARIBBEAN

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Department of Planning and Natural Resources advised the public of an on-going air pollution alert for dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa.

The dust is continuing to cause the skies around the Virgin Islands to be hazy, which reduces the visibility and results in poor air quality, according to DPNR Commissioner Dawn Henry. As a result of the dust storms and a rise in warm air, the sand rises above the desert. These sandy dust particles are transported from the North African desert westward over the Atlantic Ocean across the Caribbean.

The National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico has confirmed that we are experiencing the peak of the dust storm now.  The conditions will not be pleasant for the remainder of the day and tomorrow, but the dust should dissipate by this weekend.

While this haze may not be an immediate threat, persons with allergies or respiratory ailments should remain indoors when possible, and consult their physicians or healthcare professional for further guidance.

Sahara dust storms pass through the region several times a year, but mainly in the spring and throughout the summer months.

For more information contact the Division of Environmental Protection at (340) 773-1082 or go to www.nasa.gov or http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/TIST.html.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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