The Dept. of Planning and Natural Resources on Wednesday advised Virgin Islanders that the gray haze observed in the territory for the past few days is a combined result of the volcanic eruption on St. Vincent and the movement of African Sahara Desert dust.
According to a statement from the National Weather Service, “Due to a change in the direction of the wind now blowing from the southeast, the arrival of ash and dust emissions associated with La Soufriere volcano in Puerto Rico and the rest of the islands in the northeast of the Caribbean is expected tomorrow.”
While this haze may not be an immediate threat, persons with allergies or respiratory ailments should remain indoors when possible, D.P.N.R. said.
The public is advised to disconnect or securely block all downspouts leading to the cistern in order to prevent the volcanic ash and or Saharan dust from affecting their water supplies. Residents are further advised to hose off their roofs when possible before reconnecting the downspouts and to boil drinking water from cisterns before using.
The image below projects the particle concentrations for tomorrow morning at 2,000 feet (+/- 600 meters) high, which is very close to the surface, so according to that model Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands should be affected.