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First take

Parts of the Northwest finally have been getting some rain; in our neighborhood, some amounts – no more than moderate, but we’ll take what we can get – have fallen. But not everywhere has been so blessed, and a good deal of the region has remained bone dry. So when the Washington Department of Ecology send out a warning-styled note about the possibility of dist storms, it merited some attention. The image here comes from just two year ago, in eastern Washington. Here’s some of what Ecology said: “In 2013, three exceptional storms in Kennewick created high winds and excessive amounts of blowing dust. During these storms, Kennewick’s air pollution levels exceeded the national air quality standard. The Washington Department of Ecology has developed a report showing the dust storms were uncontrollable events. Ecology will submit the report to the Environmental Protection Agency and ask to exclude the high-pollution levels from calculations used to determine if the area exceeded standards.” – rs

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