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Hurricane Florence on Sept. 12, 2018. ESA / A.Gerst / CC BY-SA 2.0

Hurricane forecasters predict the 2020 hurricane season will be the second-most active in nearly four decades.

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Bicyclists pass a fallen tree in the Greenpoint area of Brooklyn, New York on Aug. 4, 2020 after Isaias left hundreds of thousands without power and prompted flood precautions in New York City. DIANE DESOBEAU / AFP via Getty Images

At least six people are dead after Isaias sped up the East Coast Tuesday, downing trees, spawning tornadoes, and flooding homes and roadways as it went.

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Isiais now approaches the Carolinas, and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane again before reaching them Monday night. NOAA

Florida was spared the worst of Isaias, the earliest "I" storm on record of the Atlantic hurricane season and the second hurricane of the 2020 season.

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Satellite imagery of Isaias on July 31, 2020. CIRA / NOAA

Isaias, the earliest Atlantic "I" storm on record, strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane Thursday and now has the Bahamas and potentially Florida in its path.

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The system that could develop into Tropical Storm Isaias, as seen on July 28. NOAA

Tropical storm warnings were issued for Puerto Rico and much of the Eastern Caribbean Tuesday as a disturbance is expected to become the ninth named tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season Wednesday.

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A Coast Guard aircrew conducts an overflight of areas impacted by Hurricane Hanna near Aransas Pass, Texas on July 26, 2020. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Hurricane Hanna, the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, battered the Texas coast on Saturday and Sunday as the state continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

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Tropical Storm Gonzalo strengthened into a named storm on Wednesday, breaking the record for the earliest "G" storm of the season. NOAA


The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is tracking what could become the first Atlantic hurricane of the 2020 season.

Tropical Storm Gonzalo strengthened into a named storm on Wednesday, breaking the record for the earliest "G" storm of the season, CNN reported. NHC said it could strengthen into a hurricane later Thursday.

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Aerial view of burnt areas of the Amazon rainforest, near Porto Velho, Rondonia state, Brazil, on Aug. 24, 2019. CARLOS FABAL / AFP via Getty Images

NASA scientists say that warmer than average surface sea temperatures in the North Atlantic raise the concern for a more active hurricane season, as well as for wildfires in the Amazon thousands of miles away, according to Newsweek.

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President Trump's claim last September that Hurricane Dorian was headed for Alabama's gulf coast was quickly refuted by employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). An independent investigation found that NOAA's chief violated the agency's ethics when he backed Trump's warning and doctored map that used a Sharpie to alter the storm's path, as EcoWatch reported.
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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.

People clean up debris from their damaged apartments during the aftermath of Tropical Storm Cristobal in Orlando, Florida on June 7, 2020. Paul Hennessy / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall in Louisiana Sunday as the earliest third named storm on record in the Atlantic Basin.


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