As Saharan dust nears, Saint Lucians with allergies, respiratory illnesses urged to be vigilant

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As Saharan dust nears, Saint Lucians with allergies, respiratory illnesses urged to be vigilant

(St. Lucia News Online) — As the region prepares for another wave of Saharan dust, the Saint Lucia Met. Services is advising members of the public to guard their health.

The Services said in a recent weather update that persons with dust allergies and respiratory illnesses are to be vigilant due to “marginally poor air quality”.

According to the Thursday, July 2 midday weather update, a “weak” tropical wave is currently over the Lesser Antilles moving westward near 20 mph or 31 km/h, and that a plume of Saharan dust will continue to reduce shower activity, visibility, and air quality over this region during the next couple of days.

However, no significant rainfall is expected with the passage of this wave due to the presence of Saharan dust, the Met. Services noted.

A second tropical wave located over the central tropical Atlantic is moving westward near 17 mph or 28 km/h, according to the Met. Services.

According to the Government Information Service, “the weather-related phenomenon, referred to as the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), is a mixture of sand and dust from the Sahara Desert that forms regularly over the Sahara Desert during late spring, summer and early fall. High winds blow the dust westward over the tropical Atlantic. The presence of the dust causes reduced visibility, while the dust particles can exacerbate the symptoms of respiratory illnesses and allergies.”

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