Analyzing the June 2020 Saharan dust plume

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During June 2020 a massive plume of Saharan dust was transported across the Atlantic to the Americas, thought to be the largest event of its kind for 50 years.

Although dust is normally transported westward from Africa during summertime in a warm, dry, elevated layer known as the Saharan Air Layer, the June 2020 dust plume, dubbed Godzilla, was unusually dense and widespread, resulting in many all-time dust records being broken. Impacts of the dust on air quality on Caribbean nations and several US states was severe.

In this talk, organized by the UK’s Royal Meteorological Society, Dr Clare Ryder, senior research fellow in the department of meteorology at the University of Reading, describes the characteristics of this record-breaking event, causes of the unusual dust loadings, and impacts on health and air quality.


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