Thursday, June 17, 2010

Arizona dust storms contaminate rain, dirt covers neighborhoods

(N, PSN)
April showers are supposed to be refreshing and a sure sign of spring. However, the past few showers we've had, have been contaminated with dirt that then sticks to car windows, mailboxes and even flower petals.
Many may unjustly blame the volcano that eruped in Iceland, as reports of unsettled ash keep rolling in. However, experts say that it is unlikely that the dust traveled that great of a distance because winnd patterns prove that the dust would've likely gone out of the rain clouds.
According to University of Colorado Geology Professor Jason Neff, in an interview with 9News, "The winds roll across the desert, and the dust gets picked up and sort of surfs along right behind that storm. When it rains, or snows, then that dust falls out of the atmosphere on to you windshield."
Experts have also reported that there are more benefits to these mud showers, than there are downfalls.
The dust in the rain is good for our lawns. Colorado's richest soils originate from dust, and tis dust actually fertilizes our soil. With gardening season coming up soon, the lawns and rich soils will be ready for cultivation.
The muddy precipitation is also helping clean the air we breathe everyday.
According to Deputy Director of the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division, Mike Silverstein, in an interview for CBS 4 News, "The rain acts as a cleansing of the atmosphere, so that's a good thing."
However, there are some cons to this "dirt rain."
The dirt is not good for your car. Many have been worried about the coating of dust, contaminating and damaging the paint and windows. Whether you go to a car wash, or wash it yourself, it is best to get your car clean as soon as possible after one of these mud showers.
Neff advises that to clean off your car, it is best not to scrub the car because some of the soil particles are abrasive and they can scratch off the paint on your car. Instead, he advises that you take a hose to the car, or go through the automatic car wash.
Experts say that these dirt rain showers usually happen only two or three times a year. So, if you wake up to another brown windshield or mud-coated car, remember to wash it off as soon as possible to avoid any scratches, chips or erosion.

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