South America could be getting a gritty taste of the Sahara Desert soon, from 5,000 miles away.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released a stunning visualization of what's called the "Saharan Air Layer," a massive blob of dust that travels into the Northern Atlantic every 3 to 5 days when winds pick up from late spring to early fall. The dust cloud can get as large as the contiguous United States, and it's not terribly uncommon for it to make its way across the ocean.
Here's a taste of what it looked like from the air in 2006.
(h/t The Atlantic Cities)