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Through the haze

Star Staff Report
The Star

A massive cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert arrived last week after traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. The phenomenon happens every year – but the 2020 version is especially large and imposing, experts said.

The dust cloud is "quite large" this year, said Marshall Shepherd, director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Georgia, in an interview on NPR's All Things Considered. "I think that's why it's garnering so much attention."

That attention has included some experts who are calling it the "Godzilla dust cloud" due to its unusual size.

There are signs that the cloud is living up to the hype. Michael Lowry, an atmospheric scientist at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the cloud shattered the previous record for dust across the tropical Atlantic, as measured by the MODIS satellite.