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Saharan dust returns to Central Texas

Hazy conditions and negative air quality impacts are expected this week.

AUSTIN, Texas — If you've looked to the sky and noticed hazy conditions, you're not just imagining it. Saharan dust has returned to Central Texas.

This is not an uncommon occurrence this time of year. Strong winds carry plumes of dust from the west coast of Africa thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean to the U.S. 

The forecast calls for Saharan dust to linger in Central Texas throughout the week. This means we'll be monitoring negative impacts in our air quality and will be in the "moderate" level on the Air Quality Index, in addition to hazy viewing conditions across the region.

Credit: KVUE

Saharan dust isn't all bad though. We'll have the potential for more vibrant sunrises and sunsets due to the interaction of sunlight with dust in the atmosphere. Also, the dust is good for interrupting the development of tropical systems in the Atlantic basin.

Additional plumes of Saharan dust will be possible over the next few months, so we'll continue to keep a close eye on the forecast models and alert you of any air quality hazards.

In the meantime, here is a look at your extended forecast:

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