A large dust cloud headed for Florida could worsen air quality and lessen rainfall across the southeastern United States this weekend, but it could also lead to more vivid sunsets and lower temperatures in a record-breakingly hot month, and could stop hurricanes from forming off the coast.
Meteorologists are tracking clouds of dust that have crossed the world to reach as far west as the Caribbean and Florida, AccuWeather reported, which could mean reduced air quality in a part of the country that has been largely unaffected by plumes of Canadian wildfire smoke that brought haze and smog to New England, Chicago and the Great Lakes.
The National Weather Service Miami-South Florida warned area residents Friday to expect the dust to arrive this weekend and stretch into next week.
The Saharan dust clouds, which a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite spotted over the eastern Caribbean Sea on Thursday, are predicted to reach Florida by Saturday and could spread as far west as Texas over the weekend.
AccuWeather said the clouds may reduce air quality but could also help to block out sunlight and knock temperatures down following a week of worldwide record-breaking heat that led the National Weather Service to predict heat index values above 105 degrees in Florida on Friday.