It's not unusual for a massive cloud of dust to migrate westward off the coast of Africa. This happens frequently in the late spring and early summer months as convection in the hot desert lifts dust into the air. However, the current dust plume is thicker and larger than normal.
Areas like the Caribbean and Puerto Rico have had low air quality the past few days, as dust has swept across the Atlantic.
The dust will move over the Gulf of Mexico and drift farther north into the U.S. the next couple of days. The air quality is expected to drop across the Gulf states.
We may see some dust in Michigan Saturday and Sunday. However, it's not likely to impact the air quality since most particulates should be high in the atmosphere. We also have a good chance of rain Friday night and Saturday that could help suppress the dust farther south.
If the dust does move as far north as the Great Lakes, we may have a few hazy sunrises or sunsets this weekend; rain pending.
In short, there will be minimal impact on metro Detroit.
We flew over this Saharan dust plume today in the west central Atlantic. Amazing how large an area it covers! pic.twitter.com/JVGyo8LAXI
— Col. Doug Hurley (@Astro_Doug) June 21, 2020
These tweets below show the air quality impact in Puerto Rico.
@adamonzon Un día normal en La Playa de Guayanilla vs un día con el #SaharanDust pic.twitter.com/2OCrWeWRco
— Naldy Bernier (@NaldyBernier) June 24, 2020
Y se hizo la luz😍. Aunque todavía hay particulado del polvo del Sahara, ya se ve el sol y comienzo a recuperar mi vista hacia Caja de Muerto. @adamonzon #Juana Díaz pic.twitter.com/ochXWccRFo
— Janet Negrón (@janetnegron29) June 24, 2020