Weather experts predict that the cloud of dust is due to arrive in the Gulf of Mexico this week and will likely hit Florida on Wednesday.
They say that when the sun is low to the horizon its rays have to travel through more of the Earth’s atmosphere, creating orange, red and pink hues in the sky.
The dust is expected to stay around until the weekend, meteorologists say.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has warned that the dust cloud could impact people with respiratory issues or lung conditions.
They have advised people to close their windows, use an air purifier, wear a mask outdoors and check the air quality before going outside or cancel outdoor activities.
Scientists say that one upside of the dust is that it helps suppress the development of hurricanes and tropical storms off the US coast.
“Saharan dust changes the regional climate by reflecting and absorbing the sunlight, which decreases the sea surface temperature,” Bowen Pan from Texas A&M University’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences, has told Newsweek.
“This decreases the energy supply to the storms. Additionally, dust also stabilises the atmosphere.”
In 2020 the “Godzilla” storm that dumped dust on North and South America was so large that it was visible from the International Space Station.
This year’s dust storms were fueled by stogy winds in Mali and Mauritania, carrying the cloud over Senegal, Gambia and Cabo Verde and out into the Atlantic.
And NASA satellites using infrared imaging picked up the cloud out over the middle of the Atlantic by 7 June.
Some of the dust even reaches the Amazon region of South America, where experts say that minerals it contains, such as iron and phosphorus act as a fertiliser.
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