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Sahara dust cloud causes Code Orange Air Quality Alert for Sunday

It's caused beautiful sunrises and sunsets, but now the Sahara dust cloud is making it more difficult to breathe for some people.

ATLANTA — Metro Atlanta is under a Code Orange Air Quality Alert for Sunday, primarily due to ozone and dust particles in the air.

Under Code Orange conditions, outdoor air quality is likely to be unhealthy for some people.

Children, people who are sensitive to ozone and people with heart or lung disease should limit prolonged exertion during the late afternoon or early evening hours when ozone concentrations are at their highest.

A massive dust cloud made up primarily of sand particles from the Sahara Desert has been swept up and has moved across the Atlantic Ocean, covering much of the southern and southeastern United States.

The dust from this area can affect individuals with allergies and asthma.

RELATED: Understanding Severe Weather: When is a Code Orange or Code Red Air Quality Alert is issued?

A side effect of the dust is more spectacular sunrises and sunsets, due to its refractive nature on sunlight.

In addition, recent NASA satellite images have shown a second area of dust from the Sahara also heading toward the southern U.S. It is expected to make its way into the region sometime this coming week.

RELATED: Sahara winds send dust cloud to southeastern US skies, creating stunning sunsets

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