Rich dust from the Sahara fertilize faraway lands across the oceans and seas. To many, this supersize dust storm is a mixed blessing. It’s a curse because it blocked out visibility of airports in its path. It’s a blessing because the sand if moisturized is highly suitable for growing crops.
It begins in the Sahara, where wind storms levitate enormous plumes of desert dust thousands of feet above the surface of the Earth. There, in camel-colored clouds of dust thousands of miles long head out cross the global, the dust hitchhikes on trade winds blowing west, across the Atlantic Ocean and sweeping through the Caribbean Sea on into the Gulf of Mexico onto many states in the South and Southeastern US. It traveled up the eastern seaboard into New England states. The main impacts are a whitening of the sky during daylight hours, redder sunsets, and decreased air quality.
Here, in New York, I don’t know was it forecast to hit here but it did, the scent of the air took on a strange but appealing, rich earthly fragrant, a scent I never smelt before. I thought all dust smelled the same, having never been to the Sahara…I would not know that. But I discovered today that not all dust the same. The best I can describe it was the scene of a perfume called Sand and Sable but much richer than any perfume or dust I ever smelt. it said the last time this happened was about fifty years ago. Something akin to it happened in February 1828 but on a much intense level.
Don’t worry, I was wearing a mask and a bandana. I never leave the house without them. 🙂