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Milky Rain in the Pacific Northwest

Dirty Rain in the Pacific Northwest
February 7, 2015  -  
Meteorologists are searching for answers after rain with a “milky” quality fell in the Pacific Northwest Friday.

Meteorologist Mark Turner in Spokane said the “dirty” rain was seen in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
No one, however, seems to know exactly what caused it.

“We have heard a few theories thus far including; volcanic ash from Mexico or Russia, dust picked up from last night’s strong winds, or perhaps ash from last year’s wildfires over SE Oregon/SW Idaho. We still don’t have a definitive answer,” the NWS Spokane said in a Facebook post.

“Oregon has had strong winds. It could just be that an area has been dry and strong winds kicked up some dust.”
“In some summer dry spells we’ll get big dust storms and then if it rains we can see a similar thing,” Turner added. “But the timing of this is odd.

Others gave more weight to alternative theories.
One suggested that the rain might be a result of Japan’s Sakurajima eruptions.

“We have received reports of ‘white stuff’ on vehicles,” Walla Walla County reported. “The ash is more than likely from Volcano Shiveluch in Kamchatka Krai, Russia, which spewed an ash plume to about the 22,000-foot level in late January. It has been deposited in a wide spread area, including Washington and Oregon.”

While many have speculated on the origins of the residue, the truth is that we really don’t know where it came from!” said NWS Spokane. “We are continuing to investigate and have reached out to other offices for assistance in recreating atmospheric flows from the past several days. We’ve also reached out to other agencies that may have collected samples appropriate for testing.”  PICS Forum Index -> EARTH, Quakes, Weather
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