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PDC’s high temperatures and hazy sky part of Saraha phenomenon

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. – High temperatures and hazy skies are in the forecast for Solidarity as heat and dust particles from Africa make their way to the area.

These thermal sensations are a common phenomenon, however, when they occur, they often cause an influx of increased heat.

Ocana Luis Antonio Morales, head of the Department of Meteorology and Climatology of the Coordination of Civil Protection in Solidarity, said that in places like Cuba and Puerto Rico, the phenomenon has caused an environmental contingency of dust.

“This clear but hazy sky is the result of the dust of the Sahara (desert) being deposited in the upper levels of the atmosphere by the circulating movement of the Earth to the west. Each year it comes to our area of the Caribbean,” he explained.

He said that to reach certain heights, the dust material is compacted and thus solar radiation begins to heat the atmosphere at high levels limiting the formation of clouds of vertical development when normally at this time of year, rain should be present.

“The positive side is that the dust inhibits the formation of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. Last weekend, high temperatures were recorded because of the current thermal conditions — 33 degree environmental temperature with a 41 degree measurement in our area,” said Morales Ocaña.

He says that during this next week, the high temperatures will remain. It’s a good idea for people to avoid activities after midday and to stay properly hydrated, especially the elderly, construction workers and children.

“The risks is called dehydration and heat stroke, so it’s recommend that the general population avoid being in the sun since excessive heat can cause fainting,” he said.

Morales Ocaña adds that there is no increased risk of respiratory tract disease due to the dust particles in the air.

Playa del Carmen can expect temperatures to hover around the 35 C mark for the next few days, with the dust haze creating thermal temperatures that feel more like 44 C.


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