Saharan Dust now moving over the Eastern Caribbean and into the central parts of the Basin is projected to continue impacting Jamaica and the region for another few days.

The Saharan Dust is expected to linger across the region until next week Tuesday.

Its impact on Jamaica is expected to gradually increase into the weekend, being mostly concentrated on Saturday and Sunday, and then decrease during the start of next week as it drifts towards the northwest.

Over the past 72 hours the fairly large plume of dust has been observed via satellite to be moving over the Eastern Caribbean and into the central parts of the Basin.

Saharan Dust originates over northern Africa and sometimes impacts weather conditions over diverse locations of the world.

It extends from the Tropical Atlantic into the Caribbean region especially during the period of May to August annually.

Minister with responsibility for Climate Change, Matthew Samuda, is urging all Jamaicans to exercise heightened vigilance and care during the passage of the Saharan Dust plume.

Minister Samuda says the Ministry and the Meteorological Service are aware of the increased number of Jamaicans who’re now afflicted with respiratory difficulties as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

He says they’re therefore urging the continued wearing of masks to mitigate the effects of the dust plume as well as offering the best defence to the resurgent Covid-19 disease and also staying indoors where possible.

Jamaicans are also being urged to cover outdoor water supplies, particularly those who engage in rainwater harvesting, as the dust may impact the quality of it.

The Saharan Dust is characterized by hazy conditions and usually results in stable air with reduced rainfall activity.

This spike in airborne micro-particles is known to aggravate health issues, particularly respiratory illnesses including asthma.

Conditions associated with this episode of Saharan Dust are not expected to be severe; however, the Meteorological Service will continue to monitor its development and progress.