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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Dust cloud from the Sahara arrives in Yucatán right on time

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
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A dust cloud originating in the Sahara desert is expected to arrive in Yucatán today and stick around over the weekend. 

This yearly weather phenomenon, known locally as la canícula tends to hit the Peninsula during June or July but varies greatly in intensity.

Coming from agricultural areas of the Sahara, the powder contains a high concentration of fungus, viruses, and bacteria. Its most common effects include sneezing and eye irritation. But people suffering from asthma may experience a higher frequency of respiratory attacks.

Fortunately for asthmatics and allergy sufferers, satellite imaging shows this year’s Sahara dust cloud to be relatively small, especially when compared to the monstrous cloud of dust that hit Yucatán last year. 

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Depending on the concentration of dust particles in the atmosphere, the sky may turn extremely gray or a hazy orange. In some years the effect is almost unperceivable.

The dust cloud also brings with it drier than usual weather and inhibits precipitation and the formation of storm systems. 

On the plus side, the canícula is also known for creating some spectacular views, especially during sunrise and sunset. 

Meteorologists expect the dust cloud to have left the Yucatán Peninsula by Monday, but the length of the phenomenon may vary depending on atmospheric conditions such as wind speed.

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