China Dust Reaches Central CA

Dust from Chinese storm reaches central California

March 31, 2013By Samantha Tata,
NASA Earth Observatory

NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of a dust storm from the Gobi Desert that blew across the coastal plain of eastern China in mid-March 2013. This week, California air pollution watchdogs report dust from that storm reached Owens Valley, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada.

By Samantha Tata,

Dust from China’s Gobi Desert drifted thousands of miles to hang over a central California mountain range this week, according to the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, a California regional government agency that monitors the environment.

The massive dust event on March 10 blew sediment from the Gobi Desert across eastern China, prompting health warnings that pollution levels were dangerously high in the country, according to NASA.

Those particles, which have since dissipated, reached Owens Valley, about 225 miles north of Los Angeles and east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

The Air Pollution Control District reported dust was first noticed on March 22. The agency monitors particulates near Owens Lake, which went dry in 1926 after water was diverted from the Owens River to the city of Los Angeles.

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