Saharan Dust Cloud Moves Through Midwest; Not Very Visible Through Minnesota Clouds

The cloud of dust from Africa creates vibrant sunsets and hazy skies, but cloudy skies keep Minnesotans from seeing it.

DULUTH, Minn.- If you were hoping to catch a glimpse of a hazy sky or a vibrant sunset here in Minnesota Sunday or Monday, caused by the phenomenon known as the Saharan Dust Cloud, you may be out of luck due to our pesky clouds.

The Saharan Dust Cloud is dust picked up by thunderstorms and winds in Africa’s Sahara Desert. Unfortunately, experts said, Sunday evening and Monday’s cloudy forecast will shield it from our eyes on the ground.

While it is a relatively common occurrence, meteorologists with Duluth’s National Weather Service say the size and concentration of it this year make it a record breaker.

“Usually these kinds of situations, the dust particles that are kicked up are at the higher altitudes, higher elevations so this particular event a lot more dust near the ground, near the surface has been kicked up and that is exactly why we’re seeing such an unprecedented Saharan Dust Cloud,” said Meterologist Justin Schultz.

According to Schultz even though it is thicker and bigger than ever, the dust cloud shouldn’t aggravate people with breathing problems such as asthma or COPD.

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