It's not uncommon this time of year to see the normal, bright blue summer skies in Houston to turn a bit hazy or downright dusty looking. 

And that's exactly what it is: Dust, kicked up by thunderstorms rolling across west Africa, thrown thousands of feet up into the atmosphere. 

The trade winds carry the dust west across the Atlantic all the way to to the U.S. and Texas.

Houston Dust
KHOU Weather

We'll see plenty of it this week, off and on now through Thursday. 

And with rain in the forecast again on Tuesday, we may get the chance to see some of the dust close up. 

When rain falls through the dusty atmosphere it can carry that dust down and deposit it on the ground and on your car.

Dust
KHOU Weather (NWS)

You might notice some faint dusty "raindrop-shaped" circles on your car or windshield. That's the dust that about a week ago was sitting on the floor of the Saharan Desert. AMAZING!

Tropics Check
KHOU Weather

The other benefit? This dust stretching over the Atlantic is a layer of warm, dry, sinking air -- three factors that help suppress tropical storm and hurricane development. It's one of the reasons that, for now, the tropics are quiet.

The African dust season usually lasts from May through June.

Dust in the Houston area is forecast to stick around through Thursday. It can be a minor eye- and lung-irritant to sensitive groups.For me, it seems to kick off my allergy symptoms.

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