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Yes, That is Dust from Africa in the Sky.

The dust mixed with some clouds on Monday.

For those of you who are on island this week, or perhaps you’ve been watching our webcams from home, you may have noticed a haze in the skies around St. John. That haze is actually dust that’s traveled to the region from Africa, which is something that happens every year.

Each year, typically during spring and summer months, dust and sand from the Sahara Desert float up from Africa and travel thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean via the trade winds. When the dust arrives in the territory, our typically bright blue skies are replaced by a grey haze. Visibility is reduced, and our air quality becomes poor. The dust can last for a day, a few days, or even a week in some cases. The dust has arrived a bit early this year, but luckily it won’t be around long.

Yesterday’s dust mixed with some clouds and rain, so visibility was extremely poor, more so on the Coral Bay side of the island and out toward the East End. One cool thing about this Saharan Dust is that you can track it on radar, just like you can track a rainstorm. I like to use myfoxhurricane.com to track it. The first image below is the dust as of this morning. The second shows that it will clear out of the region by Thursday afternoon.

The Saharan Dust will continue today. Here is the forecast from Tuesday morning.
The Saharan Dust will leave the region by Thursday.

And here is a picture taken on top of Bordeaux Mountain on a clear day and another that shows the dust:

Picture Point – no dust
Picture Point – dust

It’s currently down pouring, so it’s hard to see the actual dust, but it’s here for sure. The forecast calls for thunderstorms this morning and then scattered thunderstorms this afternoon.

Want to see for yourself what the dust looks like or perhaps you want to check out the skies? Check out nearly two dozen webcams positioned around the island at www.explorestj.com/webcams.


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