Massive Saharan dust plume headed for the Gulf of Mexico, Florida

From WeatherBell Analytics:

A mean looking dust plume will meander across the Atlantic during the next 10 days. It will help to keep a damper on any early-season tropical formation in the main development region.

It isn’t uncommon for dust from the Sahara Desert to make its way to these regions, but this is a larger than normal event, this is a predictive model for aersols that shows where it will reach to. Click the play button to watch.

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59 thoughts on “Massive Saharan dust plume headed for the Gulf of Mexico, Florida

  1. It’s interesting to see that there are distinctive zones of rotation in the cloud, and that they are opposite to what you would get in a hurricane.

  2. Decreased hurricanes, fertilizer, great sunsets, but doomerz, will talk about dead coral, algae blooms, you name it.

    • That’s true, especially for phytoplankton in ocean areas that would otherwise lack those nutrients.

  3. This is modeling the concentration of something in the atmosphere? Winds?

    I’m amazed at how the westbound plume bounces off Central America and is redirected off to the NE. I would not have guessed that the continental land forms were such an obstacle for atmospheric flow.

    • Looks to me like the same Coriolis effect that causes hurricanes to eventually spin up and recurve.

      • Hurricanes recurve mostly from the positions of high and low pressure systems coming across the US interacting with those out in the central Atlantic.

        • Toe-MAY-toe, Toe-MAH-Toe. It’s true that the high/low pressure systems steer the storms, but the recurve is due almost entirely to the Coriolis effect. The wobbles and wiggles in the path are from the high/low pressure systems. 🙂

    • The plume is responding to an upper-level trough that extends from the upper low seen diving into Minnesota in the animation. The trough extends southwest from the low all the way to the Pacific, west of Mexico. The landmass has very little to do with the plume’s motion. It is just coincidence this time.

  4. Here in Florida, I’m glad to see it! I’ll take an entire summer of these if Mother Nature has them on tap 🙂

  5. The Bahamas are mostly made out of sand that blew across the Atlantic from the Sahara.

    • Well, no. The Bahamas is a carbonate platform (=limestone), though it is true that the influx of nutrients in the dust helped feed the organisms (cyanobacteria, corals) that formed the limestone.

      • Absolutely correct. Why do you think the gorebull warmists want to seed the oceans with iron?

        • Actually seeding the oceans with iron to help the plankton take up all the evil CO2 is expressly VERBOTEN! by the climate nazis. It’s too easy and obvious a fix, and they really don’t care about the environment, they just want to shut down modern society.

    • Florida was running low on sand. The beach where I stay on the gulf side has to drag the stuff back to the water because it is overrunning beach front property.

  6. Sahara dust has long been suspected as a catalyst for red tide explosions in the Gulf of Mexico. The dust is high in iron which the algae use to convert to nitrogen. I do not believe there has ever been absolute proof positive about this but we will be able to watch what happens with such a massive amount of dust this year.

    • Good point. In fact I was about to ask the question that you answered in advance, to re-educate myself about the iron effect on algae.

      Did that experiment where the Canadians (?) dumped iron in the ocean work?

    • This is the paper, not sure about most recent studies. It was a fertilization of Trichodesmium, which incidentally smells, a blue green (cyanobacteria nowadays) which stimulates the red tide. Much of the literature back to 1948 suspects it’s more complicated, some older works finally being examined. May have multiple causes, changing limiting factors, not rare in the inshore ocean.

      Walsh, J. J. and K. A. Steidinger. 2001. Saharan dust and Florida red tides: the cyanophyte connection. J. Geophysical Research. 106(C6):11597-11612.

      • If anybody wants to get into the chemistry, not so older Limnology and Oceanography are now open access. Cross‐basin comparison of phosphorus stress and nitrogen fixation in Trichodesmium
        Annette M. Hynes, et al. , 2009. L&O. Volume54, Issue 5. 2009. Pages 1438-1448
        https://doi.org/10.4319/lo.2009.54.5.1438

    • Cheap shot, but fair enough.

      I reckon it’s more like models aren’t rubbish, but they have limitations, and the limitations are data and processing power.

      This model as far as I can tell is a 10 day forecast, if it was for 10 years I’d be skeptical.

    • It is more a case of “all models are wrong, but some are useful”. The very simplest models, such as F=MA are so useful that they got men to the moon and back again.

    • Idgit,

      It is predicting what will happen 10 days out. It is interesting to see what is predicted. Nobody is proposing that we change our lives based on the model. Nobody is trying to implement laws, regulations, policy, and educational reforms based on this predictive model.

      Come back in 12 days, after further study, and let us know if the model was a reasonable representation.

      Then, give us a break for a while, maybe 50 years, and after further study tell us if the climate models are a reasonable representation. (… over the last 30 years they have been crap).

      • The majority of small public water systems utilize sodium hypochlorite for residual system disinfectant (as well as treatment).

        The rules say that this is to come from approved sources. The operators that follow the rules buy clean room sodium hypochlorite (up to 30%) and add it accordingly. The majority of small systems don’t do this … they don’t need 30 gallons (or even 5 gallons) at a time … they buy 5% sodium hypochlorite (bleach) at store. It doesn’t come from a clean room, but it is significantly cheaper.

        I’ve seen more than one system with old bottles piled in the corner of well house that were labeled “lemon scented” … they were on sale.

        Most people do drink some form of bleach….

  7. Ghalfrunt., you obviously lack, and need to gain, some scientific maturity (and probably overall maturity). Some models, weather and otherwise, are quite useful, especially atmospheric NWP models over fairly short time frames (say a few days). I, along with many other analysts, have used them over many years to predict weather, sometimes quite accurately, which allowed people to carry out commerce, or in other cases shelter from severe storms. Statistics show that many, many lives have been saved since the 1950s and 1960s because of much more accurate weather forecasting and warning. Even 14 day models can be useful for upper atmospheric outlooks, especially in winter. Climate models…how are they verified? Against what? As I said to my former supervisor about why I did not believe the output of climate models, whom I believe knew I was correct but couldn’t admit it, “GIGO.” By the way, Ghalfrunt., how much do you get paid to make these kinds of spurious, unintelligent comments?

    • 4caster

      Wow! Quite an intense defensive reaction for a single 5-word comment that I (and I’d bet others) took as both sarcastic as well as a generally accurate statement about their use in so-called “climate science”.

      Interesting that you diagnosed both Ghalfrunt’s scientific & over-all “maturity” from a 5-word comment, as well as probing how he gets paid. Spectacularly good job.

  8. Dust
    For those of the opinion that dust is a prime indicator / initiator for the change between glacial to inter glacial, they should think again.

    Dust is the calling card of our friend the wind, and it is wind that is the primary change merchant. If a lot of dust is found, there was a significant volume of wind, especially in the mid to high latitudes. Wind is the primary influence of polar sea Ice extent and thickness, and the carrying of moisture to increase pack thickness. Equator to pole volume through the Brewer Dobson cycle from end of summer to late winter largely controls polar atmospheric temperature above 50 latitude.

    Pretty simple really.

  9. A little off topic, but about 75% of the Gulf of Mexico SST anomalies are below normal:

    https://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/ocean/sst/anomaly/

    NOAA deceitfully added a +-0.2C SST anomaly gray-scale from June 2020 to hide the obvious cooling of all global oceans, so most of the Gulf of Mexico SST anomalies shows gray, when it is actually light blue…

    There is an interesting 10 million+ KM^2 swath of below normal SST anomalies from the Gulf of Mexico to the coast of the UK, which may mean the 30-year AMO cool cycle has just started.

    BTW, I sent an e-mail to NOAA asking why they added a new +-0.2C gray-scale and was told they always used this gray-scale for SST anomalies (a lie) and that +-0.2C is basically the same so there is no need differentiate…

  10. It would be interesting to analyze Atlantic Ocean sediments to look for trends and periods in the deposition of Sahara Dessert sands over the past few millennia. It might turn out to be a proxy for some aspects of changes in the climate.

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