The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) is advising there is a significant concentration of Saharan dust present in the atmosphere today, and as such, persons who are sensitive to this change in air quality should take necessary precautions.
In addition, the Met Service says a gradual decrease in this concentration is expected by tomorrow afternoon, Friday 27 May 2022.
According to the Met Service forecast, today will be mostly dull, hazy and at times breezy, with the interruption of brief showers in a few areas—which may bring some relief where the Sahara dust event is concerned. Hazy conditions will persist into tonight, and there will be a gentle breeze.
At present, the Air Quality Index (AQI) for the Point Lisas area is 48, designation GOOD, as recorded at 10 am, so people can safely enjoy their outdoor activities.
For Port of Spain, San Fernando and Tobago, as at 10 am, the AQI was recorded as MODERATE:
● Port of Spain has an AQI of 54
● San Fernando has an AQI of 81
● Tobago has an AQI of 70.
This means respiratory symptoms are possible in unusually sensitive individuals. In addition, there could be possible aggravation of heart or lung disease in people with cardiopulmonary disease and older adults. Unusually sensitive people are advised to consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.
In the past, the Ministry of Health has advised persons who already have lung conditions, like asthma, to stay indoors, when possible, and always have their rescue inhaler with them. It is advice to which such persons should adhere, today.
About the Air Quality Index (AQI)
The Air Quality Index is a number used by government agencies to communicate to the public how polluted the air currently is or how polluted it is forecast to become. As the AQI increases, an increasingly large percentage of the population is likely to experience increasingly severe adverse health effects.