Puerto Rico has awakened completely in the dark due to a very rare Saharan sandstorm

by Marco Bonomo 17 days ago in science

Every summer, the wind transports large quantities of desert dust particles from the hot and dry Sahara desert into northern Africa across the Atlantic Ocean, but this year the sandstorm is a record high.

Puerto Rico has awakened completely in the dark due to a very rare Saharan sandstorm

Every summer, the wind transports large quantities of desert dust particles from the hot and dry Sahara desert into northern Africa across the Atlantic Ocean, but this year the sandstorm is a record high.

Puerto Rico was surrounded by a very rare Saharan sandstorm that darkened the sun. The event is so rare because the sand that has arrived in the Central American country comes directly from the great African desert.

The very rare event

Now very hot winds are blowing on the Sahara, which have raised a large amount of sand, pushing it towards the new world. The sand then crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the coast of Puerto Rico.

Thanks to this phenomenon, many inhabitants of the Caribbean countries and especially Puerto Rico woke up almost in the dark. The sun was darkened by a dense cloud of dust, which made the cities spooky. It is not the first time that we have seen this show, but according to meteorologists, we are facing the densest cloud that has been seen in the last 50 years.

Now this Saharan sand cloud is moving all over Central America, arriving also in the Eastern Caribbean like Puerto Rico, but also the famous island of Hispaniola, Jamaica and the east of the island of Cuba. The cloud will continue its I walk to the rest of the Caribbean and the United States and the south.

The phenomenon that occurs on the Sahara is completely natural, although it rarely crosses the ocean. The National Hurricane Center has defined it for this as "quite significant". The Puerto Rico National Meteorological Service has reported that the usual visibility has dropped, going from 5 miles to just 2 miles.

This storm has caused various ailments, such as burning eyes or respiratory symptoms for those with diseases of this type. The cities involved are in real difficulty, so even to limit any damage to health, the authorities have asked not to leave the house. This advice is especially valid for those who have respiratory problems, should not leave the house, especially because the wind could bring fungi and bacteria.

#GodzillaDustCloud

The ad hoc hastag, literally "Godzilla cloud of dust", was also created to identify the extraordinary extension of the sandy dust which took 4 days, from 13 to 17 June, to fly over the ocean waters and invade the skies of some islands Caribbean where it even caused real sandstorms. The suspended sand, however, was renewed in the Caribbean skies until June 26 because it was continuously fed by currents that, from east to west, have not stopped transporting the dust.

How sandstorms originate

Sand and dust storms are common weather hazards in arid and semi-arid regions. They are usually caused by thunderstorms or strong pressure gradients associated with cyclones that increase wind speed over a large area. These strong winds lift large quantities of sand and dust into the atmosphere from bare, dry soils, transporting them hundreds or thousands of kilometers away. Every year about 2,000 million tons of dust enter the atmosphere: a large part of this is a natural process, but it is also the result of poor management of water resources and the territory.

Natural fertilizer for soils

This phenomenon is called "Saharian Air Layer", the fine grains of sand remain suspended in the atmosphere, are transported by low-level winds and reach a thickness of between three thousand and four thousand meters, as stated in Meteolive. This is a phenomenon that contributes to soil fertilization: this is why soils affected by frequent episodes of this type, as happens very often also in Italy and in the Mediterranean countries, are particularly suitable for cultivation facilitating agriculture.

Some research, however, has shown that the iron-rich particles found within these sandstorms reflect sunlight, thus cooling the atmosphere. The particles also reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the ocean which in turn reduces the warming of the surface of the seas with the passage of the sand cloud.

science
Marco Bonomo
Marco Bonomo
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Marco Bonomo

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