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Weather Works: How weather on other continents affects Georgia weather

Meteorologist Taylor Stephenson highlights how Saharan Dust impacts Georgia on this week's episode of Weather Works.

MACON, Ga. — Let's take an imaginary trip together to the largest hot desert on Earth. The Sahara desert sits in North Africa, and of course, houses a lot of dust.

But why should we as Georgians care about a desert that's more than 6,000 miles away?

Saharan dust is a topic we mention during hurricane season because of its impacts on the tropics. 

But those tiny dust particles can travel all the way to the United States and influence our weather!

Winds in the Sahara desert kick up dust and blow it off of the West African coast. Then, winds in the Atlantic Ocean blow the sand westward toward the U.S.

On average, it takes about three days for large dust plumes to reach American soil.

On the bad side, once the dust reaches us, it can worsen our air quality. That's because the more particles that are present, the more junky our air gets.

This can make air harder to breathe or dangerous to breathe for sensitive groups.

On the flip side, the sand creates some beautiful sunrises and sunsets! 

Dust scatters light from the sun and can refract multiple colors.

It's a good reminder that all weather around the world is connected in some way!

And that's how your weather works!

If you have any questions on weather phenomena and why they work, be sure to email us at news@13wmaz.com. 

You question may be the next weather works topic. 

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