Saharan Dust Expected in Coastal Bend Next Week

Could Significantly Degrade Air Quality

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX—The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) reports a light plume of Saharan dust may begin to arrive as early as Monday over portions of the lower Coastal Bend, enhancing the concentration of inhalable particles.

Meanwhile, light winds elevated relative humidity levels, and continental haze may continue to promote particle elevation, especially in more urban areas.

The Saharan Air Layer is a mass of dry, dusty air that forms over the Sahara Desert. During the peak period of late June to mid-August, 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 concentrations in the air may rise, causing adverse health effects.

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 protects against 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 dust particle infiltration. Using an air purifier with a HEPA filter may also help 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 media inquiries, contact Public Information Manager Robert Gonzales at 361-826-3233 or