Such a name was given to a huge cloud of sand and mineral compounds, which from Sahara moves towards the coast of the United States. According to the researchers, this phenomenon may threaten patients with COVID-19.
Saharan Air Layer (SAL), which is a layer of Saharan air, is a very dense cloud of dust, the height of which in some places reaches up to three kilometers. Meteorologists say this is the largest phenomenon of this type observed in the last 50 years. The unofficial name of the cloud - Godzilla - comes from its uniqueness and size.
A record cloud of dust from the Sahara desert
Godzilla was registered by NASA satellites in June, when it hovered over Africa. The phenomenon arises as a result of strong winds that lift up the sand and other mineral compounds forming the Sahara desert. This year, however, SAL is larger than usual. Experts from the US National Agency of Oceans and Atmosphere note that due to extremely strong winds over the Sahara, the layer of Saharan air has hit the upper atmosphere, which is able to cover a greater distance than usual.
A cloud of dust from the Sahara desert has already overcome over 5,000. kilometers and reached the Caribbean, covering them with a thick layer of dust. Godzilla has a very negative effect on air quality. Doctors and meteorological services advise people who are allergic to dust and those with respiratory problems as far as possible wait out Godzilla while sitting at home and not leaving it. Persons currently undergoing COVID-19 should exercise even greater caution. The overlap of two different sources of breathing problems can end in a tragedy.
José Alamo, a meteorologist at the US National Weather Service who tracks Godzilla's actions at the San Juan Observatory in Puerto Rico, says the end of June will be the worst time when it comes to air quality over the United States. In the middle of the week, Saharan dust is to reach the Tampa Bay and from there towards Florida, Texas and Mexico. Experts say that after passing through these states, Godzilla will disperse over the ocean.
There are also pluses
Godzilla has already managed to disarm one hurricane. How? The slow movements of Saharan dust perfectly cope with the dehumidification of the air they pass through. Lack of moisture is a lack of fuel that could form tropical storms that often turn into hurricanes.
You can comfort yourself with the fact that such a large amount of Saharan dust in the air makes the sunsets look great. As if someone has increased the degree of color saturation in the air. The prevailing colors in the Saharan dust are orange and red. Small particles illuminated during sunset suddenly become a very photogenic view.
The size of this year's cloud of Saharan dust is caused by increasingly stronger winds over the Sahara, whose power increases as the average temperature on the planet increases. In 2020, we perceive Godzilla as a fairly large anomaly. Experts warn, however, that in a few decades such large dust clouds may become a new standard that will cease to surprise anyone.
Godzilla from the Sahara is approaching the United States