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Cloud from Sahara prompts air quality warning for Ky.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Department for Public Health is warning residents that air quality in the state may be poor this weekend and into next week due to an enormous cloud of dry and dusty air that will move across the southern United States over the next three to seven days.

This type of dust plume, known as the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), is an annual phenomenon; however, the most recent cloud is unusually large and one of the thickest on record, which means it could have a significant negative impact on air quality when it moves over Kentucky.

Poor air quality can aggravate those suffering from respiratory conditions such as asthma and COPD and can also pose health risks for seniors and young children.

KDPH Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said residents should continue wearing the masks they have to protect against COVID-19, but also should be careful about spending extended time outdoors. Residents should keep windows and doors closed and run an air conditioner if possible. Call a doctor if existing respiratory issues or symptoms worsen.

Local air quality reports will be available at

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