Houston Sarahan Dust

The next strange and somewhat interesting event has arrived in Houston, the Saharan Dust Storms. This one different is the largest dust storm on over 50 years with dust reaching 20,000 feet in the air and covering down to ground level – and named “Godzilla” by the Associate Press.

Creation of Saharan Dust Storms

In the vast expanse of arid desert land across North Africa, the temperatures soar to over 110° F. The hot air rises carrying the desert dust with it. High winds carry the floating dust to the coast where the western trade winds push the dust across the Atlantic Ocean.

A second dust storm is now crossing the Atlantic and is likely to dissipate rapidly due to high winds while bringing an appreciable amount of dust to the Gulf Coast.

Effects of the Dust

For people who have respiratory issues, take care. The dust can drop the air quality level from moderate to unhealthy. If you must go out, a cloth mask is recommended. Be sure that you are wearing, storing, and washing your face mask correctly.

While the dust storms usually give us spectacular sunrises and sunsets, these two storms are heavily laden with too much dust for doing much besides making the sky milky and grey.

Saharan Dust Mimics Covid-19 Symptoms

Both Covid-19 and Saharan Dust can cause similar symptoms according to Dr. Tim Connolly, pulmonologist at Houston Methodist.

  • Dry cough
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Mild chest pain

"While both share some symptoms in common, an adverse reaction to the dust shouldn't cause fever, muscle aches, gastrointestinal issues or loss of smell," Dr. Connolly explains. "If you're experiencing any of these non-respiratory symptoms in addition to one of more of the respiratory symptoms above, call your doctor for guidance."

On the Positive Side

The National Weather Service says that the dust suppresses the development of tropical systems, just in the short-term.

Dust contains a variety of minerals and nutrients, such as iron and phosphorus. As dust sprinkles out of the air, these nutrients may help fuel local ecosystems.

Saharan dust storms are thought to be one important source of phosphorus for plants in the Amazon rainforest.

Dean and Draper

The Saharan Dust Storms caught our attention and we thought you would be interested in our research. When you are interested in talking about your insurance, we are ready to listen.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 36 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2020 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Sources: ABC13, Houston Methodist, NOAA, Accuweather, Scientific American