The Department of Planning and Natural Resources announced that as of Thursday night the territory was not being impacted by volcanic ash from the La Soufriere volcano in St. Vincent, which is an updated forecast from a previous D.P.N.R. release warning residents of impacts from volcanic dust and urging Virgin Islanders to disconnect their downspouts.
The gray haze observed in the territory for the past few days, was a combined result of the volcanic eruption in St. Vincent and the movement of African Sahara Desert dust, D.P.N.R. said Thursday.
In its Thursday release, D.P.N.R. also included a report from the National Weather Service, which reads, “Light and variable winds near the surface, and westerly mid- to upper-level winds continue, keeping ash at the lower levels to the vicinity of St. Vincent, and carrying it over the Atlantic at higher altitudes. This wind pattern will prevail through Friday, keeping the ash plume away from Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands.”
DPNR advised the public that it is now safe to reconnect all downspouts leading to cisterns. However, the National Weather Service continued, “If there are more eruptions during the next several days, and the low-to-mid level winds increase significantly, then there is the possibility for some of the suspended ash to move closer to our region. We will be closely monitoring the event during the next several days…”
Jean-Pierre L. Oriol, D.P.N.R. commissioner, also advised the community that the territory may experience low air quality next week from Sahara Dust. See below for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite image taken today of Sahara Dust moving west off the coast of Africa.
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