By Craig Setzer

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Summer here typically brings sun, heat, humidity, storms and dust.

That’s right, South Florida summers usually deal with one or two episodes of dust, which reduces air quality and obscures the tropically blue skies.

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The dust originates from half way around the globe in the Saharan Desert, where seasonal thunderstorm squall lines with very strong winds loft the dust into the air.

That dusty air is then carried across the Atlantic on easterly trade winds, often reaching the Caribbean and North America.

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While the dust reduces air quality due to fine particulate matter, gently falling from the sky, the dust also spreads iron and other beneficial minerals over the ocean and land.

The dust layer also tends to inhibit tropical storm development.

The dust is expected to push on into the Gulf by later this week but another large plume of dust could reach South Florida by early next week.

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People with respiratory issues or sensitivities to fine dust should avoid outside air as much as possible.

Craig Setzer