Dust and Air Quality Forecasting Centre

Significant amounts of dust travel across the northern tropical Atlantic to the Caribbean every year from the Sahara region. These dust concentrations in the Caribbean often exceed United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less (PM 2.5) which could have serious implications for human health in the region. Air pollution has become a major issue in the Caribbean because of urban development, increased vehicle emissions and growing industrialisation. However, the majority of territories in the Caribbean do not have routine air quality monitoring programmes and several do not have or enforce air quality standards for PM2.5 and PM10. As a result, the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) has taken the initiative to provide dust and air quality forecasts for the Eastern Caribbean using the advanced WRF-Chem modeling system.