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What has caused some to sneeze may actually halt tropical storm development too

Saharan dust blowing over from Africa puts the brakes on tropical storms for now

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ROANOKE, Va. – Some of you may have been complaining about 'allergies' recently, and the natural tendency is to blame it on the pollen (even at this point in the year). That's not the case this time around, unless grass bothers you.

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It may, at least partially, have to due with Saharan dust. Sand, dirt, and other particles from the desert are lifted into the air and transported by the east-to-west moving trade winds at that latitude.

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The larger concentration of these dust particles are farther to our south, where they've helped illuminate the sunrise and sunset in beautiful hues of orange and red in recent days. 

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A smaller amount of these particles are present here, which may lead you to cough and sneeze a bit. However, this is not a major health concern. The good thing about this Saharan dust outbreak is that it limits tropical development. 

The drier air it brings in the mid-levels of the atmosphere chokes any tropical systems from forming, and it also slows down the warmth of the ocean water...for now.


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