Are There Warning Signs Before a Dust Storm Occurs?

Are There Warning Signs Before a Dust Storm Occurs?
••• Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jason Hunter

Dust storms are common in desert areas. They occur whenever strong winds pick up large amounts of loose dirt and sand, reducing visibility to a half mile or less.

When They Occur

Dust storms frequently happen during the hot, summer monsoon months, just before thunderstorms.

Appearance

An impending dust storm looks like a solid wall of debris and dust traveling on the horizon. They can be several miles long and thousands of feet high, which makes them easy to see.

Little Warning

Dust storms move quickly. Other than seeing a wall of brown dust approaching in the distance, you will not have much warning before a dust storm arrives. However, they usually precede thunderstorms. If you see large thunderhead clouds and notice the wind is picking up, you can reasonably expect a dust storm to occur.

Safety

Dust storms are especially hazardous to motorists because they greatly reduce visibility. If you are driving and notice a dust storm approaching, turn on your radio to listen for warnings and slow down. If visibility decreases below 300 feet, pull over and turn off your vehicle’s lights until the storm passes.

Protection

When you see a dust storm approaching, go indoors if possible. Dust storms are often accompanied by high winds that carry debris and cause damage. The dust can also pose health risks if it is inhaled or blows into your eyes.

Related Articles

The Difference Between Smog & Fog
The Three Types of Weather Fronts
At What Speed Does Wind Become a Hurricane?
What Does a Ring Around the Sun Mean?
This is Why Allergy Season is Making You Miserable
Warning Signs of Thunderstorms
What Type of Clouds Make Tornadoes?
What Are the Characteristics of a Cold Front?
How to Read Weather Radar
The Effects of a Cyclone
Why Can't You Look at the Sun During a Solar Eclipse?
Weather Conditions After a Cold Front
Thunder and Lightning Activities for Kids
What Kind of Weather Do Nimbostratus Clouds Cause?
What Are Meteors Made Up Of?
What Are the Dangers of Sun Glare From Snow?
What Kind of Weather Is Associated With Stratus Clouds?
What Is the Difference Between Deflation & Saltation?
Warning Signs of Storms
Middle School Science Fair Projects With Dry Ice

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!