Yesterday's strong westerly and northwest winds ushered in the first major blowing dust event of the spring. Here's a look at the dust accompanying the rather ill-defined cold front pushing into the Salt Lake Valley (courtesy George Wilkerson and Steve Krueger).
We will see that dust again later this spring. It's been deposited now in the mountain snowpack and will rise to the top, along with other impurities, as the snowpack melts. Because dust is darker than pristine snow, it absorbs more sunlight, and thus it's presence accelerates the snowmelt in the spring.
The dust also degrades air quality. Note the spike in hourly PM2.5 concentrations to 33.5 ug/m3 yesterday morning. Ick.
|Source: Utah Division of Air Quality|