You are here: home   Blogs   The GOAT Blog   When it blows, the snow goes
The GOAT Blog

When it blows, the snow goes

Document Actions
Tip Jar Donation

Your donation supports independent non-profit journalism from High Country News.

Michelle Nijhuis | Apr 27, 2009 04:08 PM

Last night, I flew home to Colorado to find that my car had changed color. During my weekend away, a wild dust-and-rain storm had rolled over Grand Junction, covering my car -- and the rest of town, it seemed -- with bright orange splotches of desert dirt. “Yep, half of Utah blew through here,” said the attendant at the airport parking lot.
It’s been a dusty winter here in western Colorado -- spooky orange clouds keep busting in from the west, leaving layers of grit on cars, people, and our snowpack. And since darker snow absorbs more heat, dirty snowpack melts faster -- a lot faster, researchers find. The Washington Post recently published a story on our dusty skies, including their causes and implications for Western snow and water -- well worth a look. A couple of winters ago, I trekked into the San Juan Mountains with snow scientist Tom Painter, who studies the effects of dust on snow -- check out the HCN story I wrote about our trip, and his and his colleagues’ disturbing findings.

Dust from Arizona
Rick
Rick
Apr 27, 2009 04:33 PM
NASA snapped a photo of the source of the dust: http://frontrangeriffraff.wordpress.com/[…]/

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Rancher vs BLM: a 20-year standoff ends with tense roundup |
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. After the standoff, what's next for Bundy and BLM? |
  4. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  5. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  1. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  4. Will the Colorado River reach the Gulf of California once more? | Photographs of last month's historic water pulses....
  5. Locals resist a Bakkenization of the Beartooths | South-central Montanans oppose new drilling, forew...
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone