Tracking The African Dust Clouds Across the North Atlantic

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Presence of aerosol/dust extending westward via the trade winds from the African deserts is a suppressing factor on tropical wave development in the North Atlantic tropics. Currently, heavy dust is projected today into the Caribbean Sea while the origin in West Africa remains prominent.

Fig. 1-4: Aerosol/Saharan Dust forecast for the week ahead. This product is new and provided by CWG/Storm Vista WX Models.

Discussion: Presence of aerosol/dust extending westward via the trade winds from the African deserts is a suppressing factor on tropical wave development in the North Atlantic tropics. Currently, heavy dust is projected today into the Caribbean Sea while the origin in West Africa remains prominent (Fig. 1). Tomorrow and Wednesday there is some slight dispersal of the eastern Caribbean dust cloud shifting westward toward the western Caribbean Sea (Fig. 2-3). Another wave of dust shifts across the central tropical North Atlantic later this week (Fig. 4). The heavy dust cloud in the Caribbean today shifts into the Gulf of Mexico albeit with a weaker signature Thursday. Coupled with the upper shear axis across the deep tropics this week should produce no new tropical waves. Note the day-to-day westward shift of the dust clouds – they provide an excellent guide as to the steering currents.