Photo gallery: Sahara Dust 2020

Published 5:30 pm Saturday, June 27, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A large plume of Sahara dust hit the East Tennessee area June 27.

The 5,000 mile long area of dust made a long journey across the Atlantic Ocean into the Gulf of Mexico and across the southern United States. It arrived in Tennessee full force Saturday morning and made the surrounding mountains look foggy and rainy.

The dust from the Sahara isn’t dangerous for the most part but people with respiratory issues might want to limit exposure. The dust particles are actually small enough to penetrate the lungs.

Email newsletter signup

It is extremely dangerous to someone suffering from COVID-19 symptoms; therefore, health officials recommend wearing masks and avoiding exposure.

This dust storm happens nearly every June and July according to meteorologists when huge thunderstorms hit the African area and pushes the dust high into the air.

Local softball coach Justin Cox summed it up best by saying, “How long does this supposed to last? It’s kind of creepy.”

The sunsets should be more red because of the dust and another advantage is less tropical activity. The dust is expected to hang around the East Tennessee area for a few days then dissipate somewhat before coming back a few days later and then vanishing until next summer.

Photos by Allen Earl