DPNR Advisory: Hazy and Milky Skies Over VI

Commissioner Robert Mathes of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources is advising the public that the hazy and milky skies in the Virgin Islands are a result of both the presence of Saharan dust and ash from the Soufrière Hills Volcano in Montserrat.


The dust reduces visibility and diminishes air quality. The dust from north Africa, a familiar occurrence to the region, is transported westward over the Atlantic and was visible in the Virgin Islands over the weekend. 

Also the Soufrière Hills Volcano in Montserrat began erupting around midnight on Sunday, July 20, and ash from that eruption gets entrained in the easterly wind flows with occasional deposits on our shores.

There exists a mixture of both the dust and the ash in the atmosphere, which is mainly present in the eastern Caribbean, explained Orlando Bermudez, General Forecaster at the National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Chances are the dust and ash should dissipate by tomorrow evening. The current wind direction is from the southeast at 12 to 17 miles per hour.
For more information contact the Division of Environmental Protection at 773-1082 or 774-3320 or go to www.nasa.gov or http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/TIST.html.