The amount of Sahara dust in the air should increase Monday, the Planning and Natural Resources Department said in a press release issued Wednesday.
Meteorologist Walter Snell at the National Weather Service in San Juan said there is currently a minor amount of the dust in the air, causing the skies around the Virgin Islands to be hazy, which reduces the visibility and results in poor air quality.
While this haze may not be an immediate threat, persons with allergies or respiratory ailments should remain indoors when possible and consult their physicians or health care professional for further guidance.
Sahara dust is the result of dust storms in the Sahara Desert. As the desert’s warm air rises, the sandy dust particles are transported from the North African desert westward over the Atlantic Ocean across the Caribbean.
Sahara dust storms pass through the region several times a year, but mainly in the spring and throughout the summer months.
For more information contact the Division of Environmental Protection at 773-1082 or go to www.nasa.gov or http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/TIST.html.