Saharan dust could affect hurricanes

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Saharan dust could affect hurricanes

HOUSTON, TX – Texans know all about hurricanes.

“Each year from June – really from the middle of May to the end of November, 150 tropical waves come off the African coast. On average 10 of those become name storms,” says meteorologist Jill Hasling, President of the Weather Research Center.

As hurricane season heats up, what you might not know is new research suggests dust from the Sahara Desert might affect hurricane season. This dust blows east to west over the Atlantic Ocean anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 feet above sea level.

“We’re still researching, but what we see is the dust inhibits the energy from the sun coming in which warms the waters,” explains Hasling.

Since hurricanes feed off warm water the dust could affect the system by: inhibiting development, making it weaker or even making it bite the dust.

“But we really don’t know the full effects of dust and it’s research that’s ongoing.”

Saharan dust might not be the biggest player this hurricane season.

“A bigger player is El Nino, which we think will reduce the number of storms in the Atlantic.”

Dust or no dust, here’s what you need to remember, “We have a 50% chance every year of experiencing a tropical storm or hurricane landfall along the Texas coast.”

And we all know it just takes one storm hitting to make it a busy season, just ask the folks in New York.