A massive plume of dust from the Sahara desert in northern Africa has been traversing the atmosphere, thousands of feet above the tropical Atlantic Ocean, and is now cloaking the Caribbean and closing in on the southeastern United States.While summer dust plumes are a common occurrence, this appears to be one of the most extreme in recent memory. It’s so large it has been nicknamed the Gorilla Dust Cloud.
2020-06-23 15:29:05 (UTC) | 16.029°N 95.901°W | 26.3 km depth
The June 23, 2020, M 7.4 earthquake near Oaxaca, Mexico occurred as the result of reverse faulting on or near the plate boundary between the Cocos and North American plates. Focal mechanism solutions for the event indicate rupture occurred on either a shallowly dipping thrust fault striking towards the west or on a steeply dipping reverse fault striking towards the ESE. The depth and focal mechanism solutions of the event are consistent with its occurrence on the subduction zone interface between these plates, approximately 100 km northeast of the Middle America Trench, where the Cocos plate begins its descent into the mantle beneath Mexico. In the region of this earthquake, the Cocos plate moves approximately northeastward at a rate of 60 mm/yr.
While commonly plotted as points on maps, earthquakes of this size are more appropriately described as slip over a larger fault area. Reverse faulting events of the size of the June 23, 2020 earthquake are typically about 70 x 35 km in size (length x width).
As the world battles the coronavirus crisis, researchers are warning of a potentially active Atlantic Ocean hurricane season, which kicks off June 1 through the end of November.
Specifically, the team forecasts 16 named tropical systems; 12 is the average. Eight of those named systems are forecast to reach hurricane status, with winds greater than 74 mph; Six is the usual amount per year. CSU is also forecasting more major hurricanes than is typical per year: four as opposed to the average of 2.7.
At least eight of the 16 named tropical storms that are forecast will reach hurricane status with winds greater than 74 mph, according to Colorado State University.