Friday, April 10, 2009

Arizona dust melting Colorado snow

Colorado has seen 9 dust storms already this year, darkening of the snowpack leading to early melting, a shortened spring ski season, and rapid, early snowmelt. Whew!

Most of the dust comes from Arizona, and it's worse this year than any in recent memory, probably due to years-long drought and higher than normal winds.

[right, April 3 dust storm in NE Arizona. NASA MODIS satellite image]

1 comment:

  1. The dust storms have been wild. We've had two that decreased visibility so much that we couldn't seen the ridges on the other side of the valley.

    We had a senior thesis a few years ago that collaborated with a group researching the effect of dust on snow melt in the San Juans. Dust really makes the snow disappear fast.