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Shanika Reaux walks through the devastated Lower Ninth Ward on May 10, 2006 in New Orleans, Louisiana, after her home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Mario Tama / Getty Images

The big three broadcast channels failed to cover the disproportionate impacts of extreme weather on low-income communities or communities of color during their primetime coverage of seven hurricanes and one tropical storm over three years, a Media Matters for America analysis revealed.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An animation shows the movements of the dust cloud from June 13 to 18. NASA/NOAA, Colin Seftor

A massive cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert is expected to reach the Southeastern U.S. by Wednesday.

While the weather pattern driving the cloud is not unusual, the amount of dust is, according to KSLNewsRadio. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Colonel Doug Hurley snapped a photo from on board the International Space Station, as NDTV reported.

"We flew over this Saharan dust plume today in the west central Atlantic," he tweeted Sunday. "Amazing how large an area it covers!"

The dust is part of something called the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), a mass of dry, dusty air that travels over the North Atlantic every three to five days between mid June and mid August, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) information reported by KSL.

"Every so often, when the dust plume is large enough and trade winds set up just right, the dust can travel thousands of miles across the Atlantic and into the US." CNN Meteorologist Haley Brink said.

The current plume emerged off of North Africa last weekend and has already traveled more than 3,000 miles to reach the eastern Caribbean Sea, The Weather Channel reported.

It covers an area larger than the lower 48 states and Western Europe.

The dust is expected to travel more than 5,000 miles to reach the U.S., according to CNN. But its effects for the country will mostly be positive: brilliant sunsets and suppressed hurricane activity.

The sunsets are because the tiny dust particles tens of thousands of feet in the air filter the sun's rays at the beginning and end of the day. They also cause a blue sky at midday to have a milky sheen.

The hurricane suppression is because tropical storms don't do well with dry air.

"The SAL can have a significant negative impact on tropical cyclone intensity and formation," Jason Dunion explained for NOAA. "Its dry air can act to weaken a tropical cyclone by promoting downdrafts around the storm, while its strong winds can substantially increase the vertical wind shear in and around the storm environment. It is not yet clear what effect the SAL's dust has on tropical cyclone intensity, though some recent studies have suggested that it can actually impact the formation of clouds."

However, the cloud could worsen air quality in some places, which could make symptoms worse for people suffering from respiratory conditions like asthma, The Weather Channel pointed out.

Hurricane Delta strengthens in the Caribbean Sea. NOAA Satellites

The extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has broken another record.

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Jacob Saylors, 11, walks through the burned remains of his home in Paradise, California on November 18, 2018. The family lost a home in the same spot to a fire 10 years prior. Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty Images

By Kenny Stancil

Potentially millions of people in the U.S. will be displaced as the climate crisis makes certain regions increasingly uninhabitable, prompting new migrations that will reshape the country, a new report shows.

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Trending

NHC Director Ken Graham provides an update on Hurricane Delta. NOAA

Hurricane Delta is set to batter southwest Louisiana later today, as residents there prepare to be hit once again by a storm that has rapidly intensified, experts say, largely because of global warming.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted a mild winter for most of the U.S. Thursday, forecasting that the drought that now covers nearly half the country will get worse, according to The New York Times.

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Smoke from the Glass Fire rises from the hills on September 27, 2020 in Calistoga, California. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Just days after a new report detailed the "unequivocal and pervasive role" climate change plays in the increased frequency and intensity of wildfires, new fires burned 10,000 acres on Sunday as a "dome" of hot, dry air over Northern California created ideal fire conditions over the weekend.

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People walk down a flooded street as they evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Kevin T. Smiley

When hurricanes and other extreme storms unleash downpours like Tropical Storm Beta has been doing in the South, the floodwater doesn't always stay within the government's flood risk zones.

New research suggests that nearly twice as many properties are at risk from a 100-year flood today than the Federal Emergency Management Agency's flood maps indicate.

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Trending

Heavy Smoke rises from the Cameron Peak fire as it continues to burn on Oct. 5, 2020 in Larimer County near Fort Collins, Colorado. Helen H. Richardson / MediaNews Group / The Denver Post via Getty Images

For the second time this year, Colorado is battling the largest wildfire in state history.

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The August Complex Fire in California has now burned more than 1 million acres. Pacific Southwest Forest Service, USDA / CC BY 2.0

The August Complex Fire in California has now burned more than 1 million acres, making the fire the state's first gigafire. For context, that means the Northern California inferno has now burned an area larger than the entire state of Rhode Island, as Vox reported.

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Trending

An aerial drone view shows a model home surrounded by flooding from Hurricane Delta in an area still recovering from Hurricane Laura on Oct. 10, 2020 in Iowa, Louisiana. Mario Tama / Getty Images

Record-breaking hurricane Delta made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane near Creole, Louisiana Friday evening, striking another blow to a region still recovering from Hurricane Laura just six weeks earlier.

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Evacuees wait to board a bus as they are evacuated by local and state government officials before the arrival of Hurricane Laura on August 26, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Maria Trimarchi and Sarah Gleim

If all the glaciers and ice caps on the planet melted, global sea level would rise by about 230 feet. That amount of water would flood nearly every coastal city around the world [source: U.S. Geological Survey]. Rising temperatures, melting arctic ice, drought, desertification and other catastrophic effects of climate change are not examples of future troubles — they are reality today. Climate change isn't just about the environment; its effects touch every part of our lives, from the stability of our governments and economies to our health and where we live.

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A couple react as they go through their destroyed mobile home following Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on August 27, 2020. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP / Getty Images

By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

In this autumn of horrific fires and deadly floods, it's easy to overlook one bit of promising news on the climate front: Some major U.S. media coverage of the crisis is finally getting better.

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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Shanika Reaux walks through the devastated Lower Ninth Ward on May 10, 2006 in New Orleans, Louisiana, after her home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Mario Tama / Getty Images

The big three broadcast channels failed to cover the disproportionate impacts of extreme weather on low-income communities or communities of color during their primetime coverage of seven hurricanes and one tropical storm over three years, a Media Matters for America analysis revealed.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An animation shows the movements of the dust cloud from June 13 to 18. NASA/NOAA, Colin Seftor

A massive cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert is expected to reach the Southeastern U.S. by Wednesday.

While the weather pattern driving the cloud is not unusual, the amount of dust is, according to KSLNewsRadio. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Colonel Doug Hurley snapped a photo from on board the International Space Station, as NDTV reported.

"We flew over this Saharan dust plume today in the west central Atlantic," he tweeted Sunday. "Amazing how large an area it covers!"

The dust is part of something called the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), a mass of dry, dusty air that travels over the North Atlantic every three to five days between mid June and mid August, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) information reported by KSL.

"Every so often, when the dust plume is large enough and trade winds set up just right, the dust can travel thousands of miles across the Atlantic and into the US." CNN Meteorologist Haley Brink said.

The current plume emerged off of North Africa last weekend and has already traveled more than 3,000 miles to reach the eastern Caribbean Sea, The Weather Channel reported.

It covers an area larger than the lower 48 states and Western Europe.

The dust is expected to travel more than 5,000 miles to reach the U.S., according to CNN. But its effects for the country will mostly be positive: brilliant sunsets and suppressed hurricane activity.

The sunsets are because the tiny dust particles tens of thousands of feet in the air filter the sun's rays at the beginning and end of the day. They also cause a blue sky at midday to have a milky sheen.

The hurricane suppression is because tropical storms don't do well with dry air.

"The SAL can have a significant negative impact on tropical cyclone intensity and formation," Jason Dunion explained for NOAA. "Its dry air can act to weaken a tropical cyclone by promoting downdrafts around the storm, while its strong winds can substantially increase the vertical wind shear in and around the storm environment. It is not yet clear what effect the SAL's dust has on tropical cyclone intensity, though some recent studies have suggested that it can actually impact the formation of clouds."

However, the cloud could worsen air quality in some places, which could make symptoms worse for people suffering from respiratory conditions like asthma, The Weather Channel pointed out.

Hurricane Delta strengthens in the Caribbean Sea. NOAA Satellites

The extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has broken another record.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch

Jacob Saylors, 11, walks through the burned remains of his home in Paradise, California on November 18, 2018. The family lost a home in the same spot to a fire 10 years prior. Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty Images

By Kenny Stancil

Potentially millions of people in the U.S. will be displaced as the climate crisis makes certain regions increasingly uninhabitable, prompting new migrations that will reshape the country, a new report shows.

Read More Show Less

Trending

NHC Director Ken Graham provides an update on Hurricane Delta. NOAA

Hurricane Delta is set to batter southwest Louisiana later today, as residents there prepare to be hit once again by a storm that has rapidly intensified, experts say, largely because of global warming.

Read More Show Less

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted a mild winter for most of the U.S. Thursday, forecasting that the drought that now covers nearly half the country will get worse, according to The New York Times.

Read More Show Less
Smoke from the Glass Fire rises from the hills on September 27, 2020 in Calistoga, California. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Just days after a new report detailed the "unequivocal and pervasive role" climate change plays in the increased frequency and intensity of wildfires, new fires burned 10,000 acres on Sunday as a "dome" of hot, dry air over Northern California created ideal fire conditions over the weekend.

Read More Show Less
People walk down a flooded street as they evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Kevin T. Smiley

When hurricanes and other extreme storms unleash downpours like Tropical Storm Beta has been doing in the South, the floodwater doesn't always stay within the government's flood risk zones.

New research suggests that nearly twice as many properties are at risk from a 100-year flood today than the Federal Emergency Management Agency's flood maps indicate.

Read More Show Less

Trending