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WEATHER BLOG: More Saharan Dust headed this way

After a very hazy Saturday, Saharan Dust levels will be lower Monday and Tuesday. Another round of dust is set to arrive Wednesday.
Credit: Annie Uhr

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — If you were out and about Saturday, you saw the haze.  It filtered out sunlight, kept temperatures in the upper 80s, and may have made you scratch your eyes.  I was able to capture this shot on the golf course around 8am, Saturday.  Filtered sunshine! Thankfully, my golf game wasn't as murky as the skies were.

Saharan sunrise. No filter. ....well, except for the haze.

A more vibrant shot, and a better example of how sunrises/sunsets can be more vibrant with deeper reds and oranges came in from Copano Bay.  Photo cred: Annie Uhr.  If you have any shots of the dust or haze, send them our way!  We'd like to see and share them.

Credit: Annie Uhr

I pulled atmospheric soundings (vertical view of the atmosphere) from the weather balloon launches at the Corpus Christi International Airport.  The first is from Saturday (June 27) and the second is from this morning (June 29).  The part to pay attention to is the green line.  That's the dew point.  See how it moves sharply left, away from the red temperature line?  That gap is indicating the dry Saharan Layer in the atmosphere.  Notice how Saturday's dew point (green line) extends higher into the atmosphere and is farther left - indicating more dust and through a larger column of air.  The Saharan Layer goes up to roughly between 10,000-15,000 ft.  I marked the top of the Saharan Dust Layer on each image in orange.

Credit: NWS Corpus Christi
Credit: kiii

With dust particles in the atmosphere, the way sunlight hits and scatters changes a little, leading to the haze and more vibrant dusk/dawn.  This type of light scattering is called Mie Scattering.  It happens when the wavelength of light and the diameter of particulates in the atmosphere are roughly the same.

Credit: kiii

Monday and Tuesday will not have as much dust in the atmosphere, so skies will look a little bluer without it.  Another plume of more concentrated Saharan Dust will arrive Wednesday, and linger into the upcoming weekend.  Skies will again become hazy WED-SAT

Credit: kiii
Credit: kiii

For me, the dust has been making my throat a little scratchier than normal - a symptom of this irritant.  For you, the effects may be similar to allergies; a runny knows, itchy or watery eyes, or maybe even headaches.  Remember, the dust is an irritant, not an allergen; so, allergy medicines may not be as effective in fighting off your symptoms if they're a result of the dust.

Credit: kiii

Holt, out