Inland Northwest National Weather Service has 'most probable' ex - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Inland Northwest National Weather Service has 'most probable' explanation of Milk Rain

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NWS posts picture of "milk rain" collected Friday in Spokane NWS posts picture of "milk rain" collected Friday in Spokane
Areas where 'milk rain' was reported Friday Areas where 'milk rain' was reported Friday
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Officials in the Northwest are investigating mysterious, milky-looking raindrops that left residue on cars, jackets and phones in the region.

The National Weather Service in Spokane, Washington said cars at their office were covered in dirty, milky raindrops on Friday. The milky rain was reported in about a dozen cities in the Northwest, including Ritzville, Walla Walla and Coeur d'Alene.

Here's what the National Weather Service had to say about it:

"It is not unusual to experience "muddy rain" in the Inland Northwest. During the summer months, dirty brown water marks are frequently deposited on our cars. However, muddy rains rarely occur in the winter. And why the unusual milky white color?

Most plausible explanation: A large dust storm in Northwest Nevada occurred Thursday night into Friday. The dust caused traffic accidents and poor visibility in the Reno area. Winds gusting in excess of 60 mph were reported across the northwest Nevada desert. Here are some peak wind gusts documented by the NWS office in Reno Thursday night into Friday.

Volcanic activity in Russia. Maybe, but concentrations of ash would probably be only trace amounts given the distance required to get here. You would also expect western Washington and western Oregon to have reports of "milky rain" in this scenario.

Ash from burn scars in the Western U.S. Another maybe. Burn scars are relatively small compared to the Nevada desert, so the source region would be limited. Burn scars in northern California, central Oregon and western Washington have received an abundance of moisture recently. Northwest Nevada has not. Soggy or snow covered ash will not blow around like dry ash or dust."


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