Heat & Saharan dust during the weekend

As if southeast Texas summer heat was not enough of a weather factor, visitors to Galveston Island will also be dealing with an incoming of dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa.

Haziness in the sky will persist throughout the weekend with the National Weather Service projecting them for Saturday and Sunday although no alerts have been issued for the approaching dust.

Sand and dust particles are visible from space as captured on NWS satellite imagery, making for a both hot and hazy forecast in southeast Texas.

Doctors say some people who deal with allergies may experience teary eyes or sneezing from the dust during the weekend, while scientists are pretty certain that everyone will be able to see the haze if they know what to look for. 

“It probably may look worse just seeing the haze than it really is for you,” says NWS Houston science operations officer Lance Wood. He knows a thing or two about the Saharan dust.

Wood explains that Africa’s largest desert does shed a lot of its sand to the tropical winds. 

“So there’s quite a few times during the summer that you get these dust events come off the African coast, but not a lot of the time do they reach Texas,” describes Wood. But don’t worry too much if you’re looking to enjoy the early holiday weekend on the beach.

Scientists say the haze from the Saharan dust may even produce pretty stellar sunsets over the the waters of Galveston.

The priority during the weekend is to stay hydrated. Forecasters also say most of the Saharan dust isn’t going to reach the surface and instead remain in the atmosphere before moving out early next week.