Bolus of Saharan Blows Into Atlantic, Lowering Hurricane Odds

By Tom Yulsman | July 31, 2013 4:49 pm

A screenshot of an animation depicting dust streaming from the Sahara into the Atlantic Ocean. Click on the image for the animation. (Animation: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory)

Satellites have spied a massive plume of dust blowing off the Sahara out into the Atlantic Ocean. The dry and dusty air could reduce the odds that hurricanes will form during the first week of August.

The screenshot above is from an animation showing how the plume is forecast to travel over the next few days. Click on it to see the animation, which was created by scientists at NOAA using an aerosol model.

Here is a satellite image of the dust streaming from the Sahara:

NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of Saharan dust spreading out over the Atlantic on July 30, 2013. (Image: NASA)

Meteorologist Jeff Masters has a detailed post about the impact of Saharan dust on Atlantic hurricanes. He’s got more graphics too, so check it out.



ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.


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