A new wave of Saharan dust is expected to arrive in Texas this week, a regular annual occurrence due to the Earth’s natural wind patterns.

Saharan dust comes from the Sahara Desert in Northern Africa. The dust gets lifted into the atmosphere by thunderstorms and cyclones in the region, according to the CDC, and can then be transported thousands of miles, reaching North and South America.

The pattern usually peaks between late June and mid-August, with the dust that reaches the United States mainly affecting southern continental states, such as Texas and Florida.

“It is typical in the summertime that we do see the upper-level winds that are able to transport the Saharan dust … as far west as Texas and further north,” Bianca Garcia with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Fort Worth told The Dallas Express.

“But it is tied to the upper-level wind pattern that we’re seeing extending all the way from the United States, all the way up towards … the African continent.”

The CDC reports that these storms may pose a risk to children, older adults, and those with respiratory and cardiac issues. Saharan dust can exacerbate symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and respiratory infections.

“Saharan dust can affect anyone. But like all particulate pollution, it bothers some people more than others,” says the CDC on its website.

Health complications from this dust depend on the density of the cloud when it arrives. The NWS advises that this latest round of Saharan dust is not expected to pose an overall threat to the health of Texans at this time. Garcia said that any dust that arrives should only cause hazy skies and possibly some “beautiful sunsets.”

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality predicts moderate air quality across the metroplex for the foreseeable future due to ozone levels. The commission is expected to issue an alert in the event that the dust cloud threatens public health.

This video from 2020 by meteorologist Ken Weathers of ABC affiliate WATE in Knoxville, Tennessee, explains how the dust gets to North America and notes some of its benefits: