Massive Saharan dust cloud headed across Atlantic

These dust storms slow tropical development

By Steve Owen - Assistant News Director
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MIAMI - The tropics are quiet right now, in some part to what is happening way off the coast of Africa.

A large area of Saharan dust has developed off the African continent.

This is not unusual for this time of the year.

We're told this dust storm gathers over the very hot and dry Sahara Desert and eventually pushes towards the west, helped by trade winds blowing off the continent.

Dust storms like these help stabilize the environment and slow tropical development.

They have moved all the way across the Atlantic Ocean and to South Florida in the past.

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