A Saharan dust cloud could impact Southern Illinois this weekend. Winds have carried the dust from the west coast of Africa across the Atlantic and into the United States. This is a regular phenomenon that happens yearly, but the dust cloud this year is larger than average.
Chris Noles, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Paducah, said the impact should be relatively minor, thanks to thunderstorms in the forecast.
“Our chances of showers and storms go up through the weekend, especially Saturday and Sunday, so it may be difficult to tell even if we do see a little bit of dust come over the area,” Noles said.
He said residents may see hazy skies and the air could seem dusty, but the current forecast shows the major impact hitting further south, in parts of Tennessee and Arkansas.
The National Weather Service is monitoring air quality, but Noles said they are not anticipating major impacts as of now.
More dust could hit the region later next week.