Dust Storms and Wildfires Predicted in Eastern Washington

March 20, 2015

The state is warning that Eastern Washington faces a run of dust storms and wildfires in coming months, thanks to a looming drought.

The Department of Ecology says the same conditions that set the stage for a drought – above-average temperatures and low snowpack – will create dry fields and forests in Eastern Washington.

The agency says spring and summer thunderstorms will bring the threat of dust storms to the Columbia Basin and lightning-caused wildfires throughout the region.

Arizona Dust Storm The agency says strong winds blowing over loose soil can cause desert-style storms known as haboobs. They can make driving hazardous, knock out power, close schools and cause severe breathing issues.

Ecology recommends that Eastern Washington residents carry dust masks as a precaution.

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