Air quality impacted by 'Godzilla Dust Cloud'

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Allergy sufferers, beware. A giant dust cloud has drifted into Houston.

But you should know the dust isn't always a bad thing.

Here are 5 things you may not know about that Saharan dust cloud, nicknamed the Godzilla Dust Cloud.

It's good for plants and trees

This dust may not be healthy for humans, but it's actually good for plants and trees, particularly trees in the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil.

"New Scientist" reports the nutrient-dust helps keep the biggest rainforest in the world fertile. However, researchers have also linked Saharan Dust to coral disease in the Caribbean.

Most of it appears to come from one spot

Researchers have pinpointed one spot in Africa where most of the dust is coming from. One study found 56% of the dust found in the Amazon comes from the Bodélé depression in the country of Chad in north-central Africa.

It's visible from space

Unlike many Saharan dust clouds, this one can be seen clearly from space.

Astronaut Doug Hurley tweeted on Sunday his view above the dust plume over the West Central Atlantic.

NOAA also showed a view of the dust over the Caribbean.



It may keep storms at bay

The dry nature of the dust plume limits thunderstorm and cloud development.

The National Weather Service says that it suppresses the development of tropical systems, just in the short-term.

Don't expect Insta-worthy shots this time

Some dust storms add vivid red and orange colors to the sunrises or sunsets.

But this time, there's enough dust you can expect just to see haze or a dull milky gray color.

WATCH: ABC13's SkyEye shows you a bird's eye view of downtown Houston covered by the Saharan dust.
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ABC13's SkyEye shows you a bird's eye view of downtown Houston covered by the Saharan dust.



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