Saharan dust plume to arrive in Southeast this week

Saharan dust plume to arrive in Southeast this week

A Sahara African dust plume is making a 5,000-mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean this week and is expected to arrive in the Southeast on Wednesday. Thankfully, the plume should remain at high altitudes and its main impact will be some especially colorful sunrises and sunsets, NASA says.

In addition to creating photography-worthy sunsets, the dust plume may also turn the blue sky into a milky haze. It’s also possible that the dust plume will make symptoms worse for allergy sufferers. Dust plumes also decrease the risk of hurricanes. That’s because the plumes make the air extremely dry and hurricanes need heat and humidity to form.

NC Forest Service warns about black bear activity in Pisgah National Forest

Keep an eye out for black bears in North Mills River, Bent Creek Experimental Forest, and Black Balsam; as well as Table Rock and the Old Fort Picnic Area in the Grandfather Ranger District, the Forest Service said in a news release Friday.

Black bears look for food that campers and trail users bring on their trips, the news release said. While bear attacks are rare, attacks have caused human fatalities. To avoid bear attacks, the Forest Service asks that you:

  • Keep dogs on leash
  • If you notice a bear, pack up food and trash immediately and leave the vicinity 
  • If a bear approaches, move away slowly and do not run. Get into a vehicle or secure building.
  • If necessary, try to scare the animal away with loud shouts, banging pots and pans together, or throwing rocks and sticks at it
  • If you are attacked by a bear, fight back

2020 ginseng lottery opens today

Hoping to forage some wild ginseng in Pisgah or Nantahala National Forest this year? Ginseng permits will be determined by lottery and the application period is June 22 to July 27. To apply for a permit, call a ranger district office and submit your name and address. Email requests are not accepted. Written notification will be mailed to successful applicants. 

Ginseng harvesting will take place September 16 through September 30. Ginseng root is used as a tonic and is found in the mountains of North Carolina. Removing a wild ginseng plant or its parts from national forests without a permit or outside of the legal harvest season is considered theft of public property. To learn more about harvesting ginseng in Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, click here

Photo: Dust Storm over Libya and Egypt A thin sheet of dust blew northeastward from deserts in northern Africa and out across the Mediterranean Sea – This image was made from data collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

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