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Encyclopedia > Harmattan

The Harmattan is a dry and dusty wind blowing northeast and west off the Sahara into the Gulf of Guinea between November and March (winter). It is considered a Natural Hazard. Wind is the roughly horizontal movement of air (as opposed to an air current) caused by uneven heating of the Earths surface. ... The Gulf of Guinea is the part of the Atlantic southwest of Africa. ...


On its passage over the desert it picks up fine dust particles (between 0.5 and 10 micrometres). When the Harmattan blows hard, it can push dust and sand all the way to South America. In some countries in West Africa, the heavy amount of dust in the air can severely limit visibility and block the sun for several days, comparable to a heavy fog. The effect caused by the dust and sand stirred by these winds is known as the Harmattan Haze, and costs airlines millions in cancelled and diverted flights each year. In Niger, people say that men and animals become increasingly irritable when this wind has been blowing for a while, giving it a bad reputation. However, the cool wind brings relief from the oppressive heat, which is why the Harmattan has earned the nickname "The Doctor". A micrometre (American spelling: micrometer, symbol µm) is an SI unit of length equal to one millionth of a metre, or about a tenth of the size of a droplet of mist or fog. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ...


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
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Harmattan And Your Health (1042 words)
The Harmattan is a dry and dusty wind blowing northeast and west off the Sahara into the Gulf of Guinea between November and March (winter).
The effect caused by the dust and sand stirred by these winds is known as the Harmattan Haze, and costs airlines millions in cancelled and diverted flights each year.
The Harmattan is a natural hazard that we have to contain with.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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