Met Office warns of ‘high concentration’ of Saharan dust

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo/ Roger Jacob.

THE Met Office has warned of high levels of Saharan dust across the country.

On Saturday and Sunday, members of the public took to social media to complain of hazy conditions and allergies, owing to this.

In its recent forecasts, the Met Office said there has been a “significant concentration of Saharan dust.

“Conditions may be unhealthy for sensitive persons, so caution is advised,” it added.

In addition to this, it said the 2024 dry season rainfall shows “strongly-enhanced signals for suppression of rainfall towards drier-than-usual conditions in the first half of the season, followed by wetter than usual for the second half of the season for both islands.”

While there will be near-normal rainfall in December, it said below-normal is expected for January-March and above-normal from March-May.

“The expected drier-than-usual conditions in the first half of the dry season will negatively impact surface and groundwater recharge rates and stream flow rates.

“Initial drier than usual and warmer than usual conditions at the beginning of the dry season may lead to an increase in breeding areas for insect vectors such as mosquitoes due to uncovered water storage devices.”

It added that the conditions will increase chances for bush, forest and landfill fires.

“This will likely reduce air quality and negatively affect persons with existing respiratory and other ailments.”