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Sahara Dust Cloud Raises Temperatures and Health Concerns in Puerto Rico

Daniel Kim Views  

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Puerto Rico is on high alert due to a massive dust cloud from the Sahara Desert crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

According to AP News and Puerto Rican daily El Nuevo Dia on June 25, the National Weather Service (NWS) in San Juan issued heatwave warnings or advisories to all 78 municipalities across Puerto Rico.

According to AP, this is the first time since the warning system was established six years ago that heat advisories have been extended beyond the coastal areas.

The authorities explained that this was due to a combination of seasonal factors typical of early summer and the trapping of heat caused by a dense dust cloud from the Sahara Desert in Africa that has covered the island.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), from late spring to early fall, a dry and dusty air layer known as the Sahara Air Layer typically crosses the Atlantic, traveling over 3,000 miles. This phenomenon peaks from late June to mid-August.

The NWS stated that while rain had briefly cooled the heat the previous day, the Saharan dust cloud’s influence has caused the island to experience hot and hazy weather again. Authorities expect the dust cloud to remain until Thursday, June 27.

In coastal areas, the authorities expect the heat index to reach up to 115°F.

The nearby Virgin Islands are also forecasted to experience several days of intense heat.

Local media warned that air quality is expected to deteriorate due to fine dust, advising elderly residents, those with respiratory conditions, and others to avoid unnecessary outings.

Yonhap News
Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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