ORLANDO, Fla. - A plume of dry air and Saharan dust is moving toward Central Florida over the next several days. This cloud of dust is called the 'Saharan Air Layer,' or SAL.
According to NOAA, SAL is a very dry and dusty plume of air that forms over the Sahara Desert in Africa during late spring, summer, and early fall. It moves over the tropical Northern Atlantic.
FOX 35 Orlando talked to Daniel Noah, a NOAA Meteorologist, and he said that this happens several times a year.
“Every year there are about 60 to 90 of these systems coming across the Saharan Desert. Those winds will pick up microscopic dust particles and sweep them into the air. Currently, we have a big chunk of sand in the upper atmosphere coming through the central Atlantic headed our way."
The Saharan Air Layer has dry air and strong winds that can have considerable impacts on tropical cyclone formation, according to NOAA.
"There are multiple things that consider if a hurricane will develop or not. One of the things that limits hurricane activity is dry air in the middle and upper levels of the atmosphere,” Noah said.
It also creates picture-perfect sunrises and sunsets with the dust being so high in the atmosphere.
Noah added that "these are very tiny particles, but when you put a lot of them together that's going to make the skies seem hazy. It’s going to make the sunsets more vibrant, but you won't be shoveling sand off your sidewalk."
This Saharan air will be moving 4,000 miles across the Atlantic and into the Caribbean this weekend. Noah said that “it is going to round the Bermuda high-pressure system and Florida will see vibrant sunsets on Sunday, into next week.”
Noah also mentioned that this sand won’t be impacting your yard, as it will stay in the upper levels of the atmosphere.
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Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.