According to NBC News, there's an enormous dust cloud headed towards the United States.  The NBC article suggests that this is the biggest 'Saharan plume' in 50 years.

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NBC News quoted Thomas Gill, a professor of geological sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso, as saying this:

"Dust particles are what we call particulate matter, and we know that breathing in fine particles of anything is not good for the respiratory tract — especially people who are sensitive to poor air quality."

The NBC report also states that the dust like pollution can be an added problem for us because of the coronavirus pandemic existing which within itself us a respiratory illness. Gregory Wellenius, a professor of environmental health at the Boston University School of Public Health."

"There is some emerging information that people who live in places with higher levels of air pollution may be at higher risk" of COVID-19.  There may be potential interactions between air pollution and COVID symptoms or progression, but it's still pretty early data."

"A dust cloud has to be incredibly large and very thick to be that evident from the space station," Gill said. "This one literally sticks out like a sore thumb — or maybe like a dirty thumb." (NBC News)

Jason Dunion, an associate scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hurricane Research Division, (NBC News)

"These types of dust clouds occur every year when a mass of very dry air, known as the Saharan Air Layer, forms over the Sahara Desert. The plumes form when "ripples in the lower to middle atmosphere, called tropical waves, track along the southern edge of the Sahara Desert and loft vast amounts of dust into the atmosphere."


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