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Saharan dust plume thickest in years- Met Service

The Saharan dust plume currently over Jamaica has been described as one of the thickest in concentration seen in many years.

While the Sahara dust cloud phenomenon is not new, Meteorologist Rohan Brown said this is the thickest he has seen the dust cloud in years.

Satellite images show that the leading edge of the Sahara Dust is now moving over Jamaica, with the concentration of dust expected to increase over the coming days revealed the Meteorological Service of Jamaica on Monday.

The greatest concentration of dust is expected on Tuesday and Wednesday with a reduction expected at the end of the weekend.

The meteorologist further said the dust layer could prevent rainfall.

“Because the dust layer absorbs the solar radiation. It changes the profile of the atmosphere so it is warm at the top and cool at the bottom and therefore you have a layer that prevents the convection activity that is normally associated with the development of rainfall and it does hinder rainfall production,” said Brown

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the plume was first captured on June 7, blowing west off the African continent.

The NOAA said the dry and dusty air, also known as the Saharan Air Layer, forms over the Sahara Desert during the late spring and moves westward.

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