Saharan Air Layer dust reaches the Southeast US coast

August 10th, 2022 |

GOES-16 True Color RGB images, from 1130-2250 UTC on 08 August, 09 August and 10 August [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) True Color RGB images created using Geo2Grid (above) covered the daytime period from 1130-2250 UTC on 08 August, 09 August and 10 August 2022 — and displayed the hazy signature of Saaran Air Layer (SAL) dust as it approached the Southeast US coast (Florida, Georgia and South Carolina in particular). This hazy dust signature was more pronounced early and late in the day, when the forward scattering of light was more pronounced (due to a lower usun angle).

The GOES-16 Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) derived product (below) provided a quantitative measure of the density of this dust — with AOD values generally ranging from 0.5 to 0.8. Note the westward-moving semicircular region where no AOD appears every day: these are areas where the product is not created, due to contamination by sun glint off the water.

GOES-16 Aerosol Optical Depth derived product, from 1110-2230 UTC on 08 August, 09 August and 10 August [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

GOES-16 Split Window Difference SAL product images (source) covering the 8-day period from 03-10 August (below) showed the westward transport of this SAL dust across the Atlantic Ocean.

GOES-16 Split Window Difference SAL product, from 03-10 August [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

Some of this airborne SAL dust subsided into the boundary layer, occasionally reducing the surface visibility to 5-7 miles at a few sites near and along the coast in Florida (KSGJ, KJAX, KFHB, K42J), Georgia (KSSI, KJES) and South Carolina (KJZI, KARW).

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