High Temperature: 87F Low Temperature: 73F Sunrise: 6:14 am Sunset: 8:43 pm Humidity: 76% Wind: s 13 mph Chance of Rain: 10%
Over the past two days, we've had to look closely to detect any hint of blue in the sky. It's there, but the deep blue of summer has been obscured by a grayish haze swirling around the atmosphere. The smoky look does not come from wildfires somewhere out on the prairie, but from Africa. Each year from the spring to the fall and occurring every few days, sand forms a layer over the Sahara Desert and this dusty air drifts westward for thousands of miles. The Saharan Air Layer (SAL) has reached the Dust Bowl state. According to NOAA, besides befouling the air, the SAL can cause toxic algae blooms (we will keep an eye on the ponds). On the plus side, they temper hurricanes.
I don't ever recall the phenomenon happening here (or elsewhere) before and I have no idea what conditions are needed to send it packing. The high winds, high humidity, and oppressive heat haven't made being outdoors any more pleasant. Being out in it for even a short period of time, one can feel the grit in the eyes and a metallic taste in the mouth. Ironically, I am glad - at least for this particular reason - to have a face mask handy.