AIR QUALITY ALERT: Heavy African dust expected to blow back into Houston through Tuesday

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ABC13 Weather Team has the latest timeline on dust in the area.

Another African dust cloud is back in Houston. It will stick around through midweek.

This cloud is now expected to be almost twice as thick as the cloud that turned Houston's sky hazy gray at the end of June. The thickest part of this cloud will blow over Houston starting Sunday afternoon. You'll see a "Saharan sunset" Sunday evening and wake up to a really hazy sky Monday, when the air quality could turn unhealthy once you add in the additional pollution generated by work-week activities.

The heavy haze will linger into Tuesday, then thin out the rest of the week.

Most of us will just notice a change to the color of the sky, but if you noticed any health impacts last time, you may consider reducing your outdoor exposure during this time frame.

So what does it mean for you?
Meteorologist Travis Herzog says most of these fine dust particles will stay suspended thousands of feet above ground, turning the sky a hazy gray. For most of you, that's the only difference you'll notice, but some of you may encounter respiratory issues.

A portion of this microscopic dust, known as particulate matter, does reach the ground and can penetrate deep into our lungs. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, studies have shown chemical contaminants and microorganisms can also survive the trek across the Atlantic, but few studies have been conducted on the impact to human health.
VIDEO: Drone footage captures dust storm across area
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Drone footage of African dust storm across the Houston area.

Sensitive individuals with asthma, allergies, and other lung conditions may notice flare ups, especially after prolonged outdoor exposure. Other sensitive groups include the elderly, young children, and pets. If you are concerned about the impact to your health, consider limiting your time outside.

There is a seasonal cycle to when African dust clouds can reach Houston. Travis says they normally track through our sky in May, June, and July.

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weatherforecasthealthasthmaair qualityHouston
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