Dust layer from the Saharan Desert traveling towards Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A large, seemingly scary, plume of dust from Africa has traveled across the Atlantic and is creeping into the southeast.

Sounds like another weird layer to 2020.

In reality, it’s a common occurrence that happens just about every summer. It begins to form in the spring and summer months as a dry, dust layer over the Saharan Desert before traveling across the Atlantic towards the Caribbean.

This year, the plume is the thickest it has been in years leading to the hype on social media.

In previous years, we’ve seen Saharan dust reach the Midsouth but with the density of this plume, impacts could be more noticeable (notice I didn’t say ‘harmful’).

Sunsets and sunrises could be hazier but hopefully, they’re just more beautiful.

When there is a presence of dust particles in the sky, light from the sun is scattered more which creates more vibrant colors at dusk and dawn.

Your sunrise and sunset times for Friday and the weekend are:

Friday - Sunrise 5:47 am; Sunset 8:18 pm

Saturday - Sunrise 5:48 am; Sunset 8:18 pm

Sunday - Sunrise 5:48 am; Sunset 8:18 pm

Another factor to consider later this week and during the weekend is the air quality.

While we don’t expect major issues there could be a slight decrease in air quality due to the presence of the dust.

If you have respiratory issues you can check the current air quality here.