The subject came up in raid chat the other day, the existence of Saharan dust in the atmosphere of the Southern United States. Apparently this was news to people who haven’t lived in the South for the last twenty years. It was about twenty years ago that I first heard reference to Saharan dust drifting on the winds from Africa and landing in my lungs here in Austin.
On a more serious note, here’s NASA explaining it:
The Sahara Desert is by far Earth’s largest source of airborne dust, and the storms can arise at any time of year. In winter and spring storms, Saharan dust often ends up fertilizing the nutrient-poor soils of the Amazon rainforest. Dust storms in the summer tend to loft material higher into the atmosphere, allowing plumes to travel thousands of kilometers on high-level winds. Those summer seasonal wind patterns can carry the dust from Africa to the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Plumes of dust recently reached Florida, Texas, and other southern U.S. states in mid-May 2022.earthobservatory.nasa.gov
This explains why I sound like a frog when I’m talking these days. My apologies.
August 3 – It’s baaaaack. Crap. I went for a walk yesterday without a mask and had a knot in my chest all the rest of the day. Luckily it went away while I was sleeping last night (for twelve hours again) now I’m coughing up a lung. No walking without masks. I see a lot of this in my future.