BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued additional air quality advisories through at least Wednesday, June 15 as Saharan dust continues to cover Louisiana.

Air quality conditions are being ranked as “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” by the DEQ. Sensitive groups, such as people with lung disease (including asthma), heart disease, children and older adults, and people who are active outdoors should limit prolonged exertion.

The Saharan Air Layer (SAL) is a warm, dry layer of air often containing dust that is transported westward by trade winds across the Atlantic Ocean from the Saharan Desert. It’s most prevalent during the summer months. The journey across the Atlantic can take up to a week, which usually allows the dust within the SAL to fall into the ocean before reaching the U.S. However, sometimes the dust is thick enough and the winds strong enough to carry the dust all the way to the U.S. Gulf Coast. This often results in hazy skies and pretty sunsets. But when the plume is as thick as the one currently over the southern U.S., the dust can negatively impact air quality.

La. Department of Environmental Quality

Scattered showers and thunderstorms on Thursday are not expected to dissipate the dust much, and air quality is expected to remain “high-moderate” through the end of the week.