After a dry active first week, it looks like we are going to see a calmer and more delayed hurricane season, and we have the Sahara desert to thank for it.
"Large plumes of Saharan Dust routinely track into the Atlantic Ocean from late spring into early fall," CNN meteorologist Haley Brink says. "Every so often, when the dust plume is large enough and trade winds set up just right, the dust can travel thousands of miles across the Atlantic and into the US."
"The dust is the visible part of the reduced tropical development potential area," explains CNN meteorologist Chad Myers. "It is the dry air and additional vertical wind shear along with the dust that are the driving factors in limiting tropical storm development."
Vertical wind shear is the change of wind speed and direction with height. For a hurricane to form, it needs little to no wind shear and a very moist atmosphere. The dust that's traveling over 5,000 miles will keep conditions from getting too wild, and they will provide people on the gulf coast with spectacular sunrises and sunsets. "The dust particles high up in the atmosphere can scatter sunlight and create some of the most vivid sunsets," Brink says.