Saharan dust returns to the Brazos Valley for yet another weekend
Hazy, dull skies linger overhead into early next week
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Going for the hat trick. For the third weekend in a row, a large cloud of Saharan dust is expected to loft through the Brazos Valley sky. This time, with high pressure keeping stagnant air in place, hazy, dull skies are anticipated to linger into the upcoming week.
As of Wednesday evening, the lastest plume of dust -- riding 10 to 15 thousand feet above the ground -- was moving west through the eastern and central Caribbean Sea. By Friday, that cloud of dusty air is expected to reach the southern tip of Texas.
The western edge of high pressure will guide the dust into the Brazos Valley, Southeast Texas, the Hill Country, and Central Texas steadily throughout the day Friday. A clear and typical sunrise will turn into a pinhole, unique sunset to close out the workweek.
The concentration of this dust will be high both Saturday and Sunday. As with the past few weekends, air quality will take a small hit locally. For most, no issues are anticipated. For those with sensitive respiratory ailments, severe asthma, and severe dust allergies, outdoor activities should be limited.
Good news that comes with the weekend and early week haze? As the morning sun takes to the sky, this drier mid-level air will mix down closer to the surface, helping to stunt the late July humidity. That will keep heat index values (what it feels like in the shade) between 100° and 103°. This drier air is a double-edged sword as it is able to heat up quicker. Highs are expected to flare up into the upper 90s, placing thermometers a few degrees shy of 100° Saturday through Monday.
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