Pat Shingleton: "Dust...In the Wind"
Previous columns have noted that African dust storms contribute to additional Atlantic storms. Chemists at the University of California-San Diego believe that significant amounts of African and Asian
dust are connected with storms in California's Sierra Nevada. Atmospheric samples were collected from 2009-11 by flying through Sierra storm clouds; matching results with ground measurements taken in Tahoe National Forest. The data revealed that when dust and biological particles from Asia and Africa were identified, Pacific storms produced more precipitation. The Los Angeles Times reports that this is the first time dust connections were made through chemical fingerprinting, matching satellite data, numerical models, and comparative air masses.
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