A plume of Saharan dust rolls across South Florida on Thursday, with forecasts calling for a foggy and warm day. The risk of rain is not high, but the risk of allergies is.
With forecasts calling for a 10% chance of rain in South Florida, Thursday could be “one of the driest days on record for the season,” said Shaun Bhatti, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami.
It will also be warm, with Miami-Dade and Broward forecasting a high of 92. The heat index — how hot it feels — could reach 100, according to the weather service. If you plan to be outdoors, remember to drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen.
While the heat isn’t going away anytime soon – it’s summer after all – the rain is expected to return on Friday for our regular summer lineup. The forecast calls for 50% chance of rain in Miami-Dade and 40% chance of rain in Broward. There is also a chance of showers this weekend, but with a 30-40% chance of rain it won’t be too bad.
So what exactly does Saharan dust do? Here’s what to expect:
▪ The extremely dry and dusty air mass that emerged over the African coast and traveled thousands of miles across the Atlantic to southern Florida is helping reduce the chance of rain in the region.
▪ All is calm in the tropics, with no systems being tracked in the Atlantic. Let’s hope it stays that way – Saharan dust can help suppress the formation and intensification of tropical cyclones, according to the National Weather Service and NOAA.
▪ Saharan dust usually brings beautiful sunsets. Get ready for #SunsetsinMiami Instagram posts.
▪ The bad news: Saharan dust can irritate people’s eyes, ears, nose and throat. If you have allergies or health conditions like asthma or COPD, you may want to stay indoors and take your allergy medications. And those COVID masks in your drawer can come in handy.
Miami Herald writer Howard Cohen contributed to this report.
This story was originally published July 28, 2022 7:49 a.m.