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What You Need To Know About Dust Storms

By Lucille Wood Aug 3, 2020

Nowhere in the United States is completely safe from dust storms. Anywhere there is a region of loose, dry soil, a dust storm can occur. If the wind is strong enough, they can travel many hundreds, and even thousands, of miles. However, because dust storms most frequently form over deserts, they are most common in the southwestern United States. Fortunately, there are steps for dust control southern California that landowners can take to prevent storms from forming.

How Do Dust Storms Form?

A strong wind picks up particles of dust and dirt from the ground and carries them with it as it gusts over the landscape. Dust storms often form due to strong winds from a thunderstorm. As the wind dies down, the larger particles settle back to earth. However, smaller ones can linger in the air for days or even weeks afterward.

What Does a Dust Storm Look Like?

Dust storms can have different effects. Sometimes it looks like the air itself has taken on a copper-colored tint. Other times, you can see the dust swirling around you and making spiral shapes. A dust storm can reduce visibility so that you hardly see anything at all.

Why Are Dust Storms Dangerous?

Dust storms are particularly dangerous for motorists. They can arise without warning and obscure the road ahead. When drivers cannot see where they are going, they are more likely to become involved in a motor vehicle collision. A driver who sees a dust storm coming should try to avoid it. If this is not possible, a driver should pull off the road, turning off lights to prevent confusion from other drivers trying to use them as a guide.

Dust storms also pose dangers for people who have lung conditions such as asthma. Inhaling the dust can trigger an attack of asthma and make breathing more difficult.

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