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Saharan dust

Vincentians could see some relief from the effect of the Saharan dust haze later this week if a forecast change in the weather pattern results in rains.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health issued a health advisory for the second week in a row as St. Vincent and the Grenadines continued to be affected by Saharan dust.

The ministry noted that the Meteorological Services has advised that varying concentrations of Saharan dust continue to create hazy conditions reducing visibility across the country.

Further, the associated dry air limits shower activity, forecasters said, noting that historically, rainfall totals across SVG are lowest during February to March.

Moderate concentrations of Saharan dust can be expected by Thursday even as moisture converges just west of the island chain on Wednesday and spreads cloudiness across SVG.

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The chance of showers across our islands increases late Thursday and during Friday.

The Ministry of Health advised that particles contained within the Saharan dust haze could cause dry cough, sore throat, itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose.

“The anticipated concentrations of the Saharan dust may severely affect persons with respiratory diseases such as asthma and persons with pre-existing heart disease. Also, elderly and children are also vulnerable at this time,” the ministry said.

“Persons with respiratory issues and allergies are asked to always keep with them all medications, including asthma inhalers which are needed to manage their conditions. Persons should limit their exposure to the Saharan dust by staying indoors when possible or wearing a dust mask if they must go outdoors.

“Affected persons should seek medical attention at their nearest health care centre if they experience worsening symptoms because of increasing levels of Saharan dust.”