Saharan Dust Layer Expected Tuesday
Dust May Trigger Allergic Reactions
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) reports that a moderate to heavy density plume of Saharan dust is expected to arrive in South Texas in the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 25. The dust will spread inland over Central, Southeast, and East Texas and persist for several days.
The Saharan Air Layer is a mass of very dry and dusty air that forms over the Sahara Desert. During the peak period of late June to mid-August, the dust is blown out of Africa and into the North Atlantic Ocean every three to five days.
Impact on Public Health
The presence of the Saharan Air Layer can pose various health risks, especially for vulnerable individuals such as children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing respiratory conditions like asthma, chronic bronchitis, or allergies. The dust particles are very fine and can penetrate the respiratory system, potentially causing or exacerbating respiratory problems. Additionally, the dust may carry allergens and irritants, triggering allergic reactions and respiratory discomfort in sensitive individuals.
Impact on Air Quality
When the Saharan Air Layer reaches Corpus Christi, it can significantly degrade air quality. The dust particles can mix with vehicle and industrial emissions, forming a hazardous mixture that threatens public health. Particulate Matter (PM) concentrations in the air may rise, associated with adverse health effects.
The following activities are recommended during a Saharan Air Layer event:
- Stay informed. Watch for alerts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and local media outlets.
- Limit outdoor activity. If outdoor activities cannot be avoided, wearing an N95 mask is recommended. The mask can protect from inhaling dust particles and other particulate matter.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. The dry and dusty conditions may lead to increased water loss through respiration.
- Monitor Indoor Air Quality. Staying indoors with windows and doors closed will reduce the infiltration of dust particles. Using an air purifier with a HEPA filter may also help to improve indoor air quality.
For more information, visit:
- Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) 4-Day Air Quality Outlook
- Real-time satellite map of the Saharan Air Laye
For more information, media representatives may contact Health District Public Information Officer Brittany Claramunt at 361-826-7232 or by email at email@example.com.