Science, Tech & Environment

A West African Dust Storm

dust.jpg

A dust plume spanning hundreds of kilometers blew off the coast of western Africa on February 6, 2012. (Photo: NASA)

For the Geo Quiz, we are not looking for a country, but for the name of a weather phenomenon.

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It is a dry and dusty trade wind that is causing a vast Saharan dust cloud to hover over West Africa.

Yellowish-brown dust falls like rain and covers the sidewalks and drivers have to use headlights to see through the haze.

So, there won't be picnics in Dakar, Senegal anytime soon.

Locals are used to this. It is seasonal, but this year's sand storm is worse than usual.

Harmattan is the answer to the Geo Quiz.

It is blowing from the Sahara Desert across a swath of West African countries including Senegal.

The Environment Ministry of Senegal said Wednesday the air quality in the crowded capital Dakar was "bad" and poses a public health risk.

Anchor Marco Werman talks to journalist Hamadou Tidiane, who lives in Dakar.