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Utah haze blamed on dust storm in China Gobi Desert

SHARE Utah haze blamed on dust storm in China Gobi Desert

The haze across much of Utah the past few days is a dust cloud that originated 12 days ago in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and China.

Upper-level winds blowing across the Pacific brought the large cloud of dust into the western states, the National Weather Service said.

Chris Maier, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City, said the dust storm reached the West Coast on Saturday.

"Weather-wise, the storm will not create any problems, and we have nice weather right now," he said. "But we may see some very red sunsets as a result of the dust storm."

Maier said winds in the area would pick up Tuesday afternoon and continue into Wednesday helping to blow the dust out of the area.

In April 1998, a dust storm in China was brought across the Pacific into the United States in just five days.

The dust storms can be a vital nutrient source for both the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems.

The 500,000 square mile Gobi Desert has stony, sandy soil and dry grasslands. Wind-blown dust originating from the arid deserts of Mongolia and China is a common springtime occurrence throughout East Asia.

The yellow sand meteorological conditions are called Huangsha in China, Whangsa in Korea and Kosa in Japan.