Saharan Dust Adds Extra Color to Bunche Beach and Babcock Ranch Sunsets

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One of the most recent additions to 2020 has also been one of the most visual. The Saharan dust that made its way across parts of Florida has also added an extra boost of color to sunsets, particularly in locations like Bunche Beach and Babcock Ranch.

While, of course, Florida has plenty of sand beaches, the tiny bits of dust floating through the air recently did not come from Florida. Instead, the dust originated in the Sahara Desert.

This happens when sand in Africa gets swept up in the air during a large storm. Fast-moving winds then bring the dust across the ocean and over places like Florida. You may have noticed that the dust made the sky a bit hazy during sunrise on certain days, but it likely played a more prominent role in the evenings as the dust made its way over the Gulf.

The dust started off as a faint white glow in the sky but then transitioned over the days into a more noticeable orange and red hue during sunrise, and especially sunset. For those of us lucky enough to see it, it made for some spectacular sunsets and probably pictures, too.

While this isn’t the first time it’s happened, the plume of dust this year was said to be particularly large. That’s why many of us noticed the dust this summer, and the colorful sunsets it produced.

Of course, Saharan dust or not, Bunche Beach in Fort Myers is always a great place to catch a sunset. The natural beach is seldom crowded, but it still remains a coveted spot for kayaking, canoeing, hiking and bird watching. Low tide is a great time to walk the beach and explore, and of course catch a peaceful sunset away from some of the other more crowded locations in Southwest Florida.