Met Office issues yellow alert: Breathe easy as Sahara dust clears

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Sahara dust covering Port of Spain. FILE PHOTO

People suffering from the effects of Sahara dust in the atmosphere can breathe easy as meteorologist Stefan Dickson says there will be lower concentrations owing to expected rainfall on Monday.

“We have a significant amount of Sahara dust in the atmosphere at the moment. There is good news for people who suffer from aliments associated with it. Tomorrow we are expecting a rainfall event,” he said.

A Sahara dust plume usually causes eye, nose and throat irritation for many people but is often worse for people with allergies.

The Meteorological Service issued a yellow-level adverse weather alert on Sunday. This alert is in effect from 5 am on Monday to 12 pm on Tuesday.

It said there was a 70 per cent chance of heavy showers and thunderstorms from the passing of a tropical wave. It added that the conditions will happen on-and-off over the period, starting in southern areas of Trinidad.

The thunderstorms can produce intense rainfall and street or flash flooding was also possible which can cause minor traffic disruptions.

“Electrical discharges are also likely. The threat of gusty winds will also be present. These wind gusts may be brief, but are capable of breaking tree branches, displacing unsecured roofs and loose outdoor objects, and can even topple over unhealthy trees,” the alert said.

Dickson said the dust circulation was expected to improve from Sunday night, and over the next few days the concentration would be lower.

The Sahara dust is expected to return later on in the week but it is expected to be milder, he added.

“That will be between Thursday and Friday. Even with those milder surges some people are still affected,” he said.