Dust Storm Could Hinder Hurricanes [Video]
Who knew that stuff my wife is always complaining about could be such a huge hindrance in the formation of hurricanes. That stuff is dust and if you look at my house it's everywhere. Hurricanes don't like dust. Dust gets in the way of their formation by effectively "drying" up the atmosphere. It also hinders the ability of sunlight to warm the sea surface.
Where would that much dust come from? The dust comes from the same place a lot of the hurricanes come from. Many hurricanes this time of year are born as tropical waves that roll of the west coast of Africa. This storms feed on the warm waters of the tropical Atlantic Ocean and then spin up into tropical cyclones. The dust comes from just a little bit north of where the tropical waves come from. If you look at your map of Africa you will see the Sahara Desert. Trust me that is a very dusty place.
Does this mean good news for the remainder of hurricane season? We can't say for the remainder of the season because that will last until the end of November. Forecasters are saying that for at least the first week of August this dry dusty atmosphere over the tropical Atlantic should reduce the opportunity for any tropical cyclones to form and strengthen at least in those waters.