The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMA) has called on people allergic to dust to wear nose masks following a surge in dry and dusty atmospheric conditions in Ghana.
Ghana has been experiencing variations in intensity of the dry and dusty conditions over the past weeks.
The GMA in a third harmattan advisory statement on Monday, February 20, 2023, explained that on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, meteorological satellites detected dust lifted around Chad, Sudan, and Niger.
This dust, it further explained, was transported into Ghana by strong winds at lower levels of the atmosphere.
It said while the dry weather conditions, cloudless skies, hot days and the dominance of minute dust particles suspended in the atmosphere was expected, high-pressure systems around the northern regions of Africa had stirred up dust over region.
The GMA said the intensification of the dry and dusty conditions has resulted in dryness and decreased visibility, which may take some time to clear completely.
The agency further advised the public to keep hydrated, follow fire safety precautions, cover foods and water to prevent dust from settling on them, as well as wash fruits thoroughly before taking them.
Below is the statement:
On 24th November, 2022, the Ghana Meteorological Agency issued the first Harmattan Season Advisory for Ghana. The advisory, among other things, forecasted dry weather conditions, cloudless skies, hot days and the dominance of minute dust particles suspension in the atmosphere.
Visibility values were also forecasted to be between 1km and approximately 5km due to the advection of particles from the dust Region. Per this advisory issued on 24th November, 2022 and consequent update issued on 27th January, 2023, most parts of the country are still experiencing the harmattan.
Typically, the harmattan season persists until late February or early March in most parts of the country, with variations in the intensity of the dry and dusty conditions within the season.
However, on Monday, February 13, 2023, the Agency observed high-pressure systems around the northern regions of Africa, which were projected to stir up dust over the dust source region.
Consequently, on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, meteorological satellites detected dust lifted around Chad, Sudan, and Niger. This dust was transported into the country by strong winds at lower levels of the atmosphere.
As a result, an intensification of dry and dusty weather conditions was expected to be experienced in Ghana during the week as issued in the GMet weekly and daily forecasts.
Furtherance to the above, this has resulted in dryness and decreased visibility, which may take some time to clear completely. Relative humidity, over the period, has ranged between 15% and 50% with visibility range of 200 meters to 5,000 meters.
These conditions are expected to persist at varying intensities over the next few days. However, it is expected that there will be a relaxation in the intensity during the week and consequently.
Due to these weather conditions, it is advised that the general public take the following precautions;
❖ Keep hydrated.
❖ Follow fire safety precautions.
❖ Cover foods/water to prevent dust from settling on them.
❖ Wash fruits thoroughly before taking them.
❖ People allergic to dust are to wear nose masks to reduce the effect on them