Saharan Dust Cloud moves through Topeka Saturday

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Saharan Dust Cloud will make its way through Topeka Saturday, creating colorful sunsets and sunrises across Kansas.

“The Saharan dust will move into the Central Plains this weekend,” KSNT’s David George said. “Even areas near Canada may be impacted by early next week. That’s how far north it could go.”

The biggest impacts are expected to be hazy skies and what could be particularly pretty sunrises and sunsets — if you can see through the clouds, because northeast Kansas rain chances may impact what we can see.

We should get hazy conditions and vivid sunrises and sunsets. The sun will look more yellow or reddish — when we have clear sky conditions, of course. More than what you’d usually see. Another impact is air quality so those with respiratory issues may want to stay indoors more than normal.

The Saharan Air Layer is nothing unusual. It can form over the desert anytime from the late spring into the fall and moves in batches westward across the tropical Atlantic every three to five days, according to NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory.

The dust travels about 1 mile above the surface and can form a layer that is 2 to 2.5 miles thick.

This week’s more dense concentration, seen in images across the Gulf of Mexico, won’t move fully into Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas until Saturday night and Sunday.

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