The combination of high-level winds carrying dust from the Great Plains, and a trace of rain to bring it to the ground, left a dirty patina on cars and trucks across the region Monday morning.
That sent some drivers to car washes with vehicles that looked like they'd been abandoned outside for a lengthy period.
“A lot of people have been seeing the same thing across much of southern Minnesota — a cake-like coating on vehicles and other surfaces,” said MPR News meteorologist Sven Sundgaard. “This is dust that came all the way from Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska — that migrated up with the storm system overnight, and the few showers and thunderstorms that we did see actually helped push that dust to the ground with just a little bit of moisture. We barely saw any measurable rainfall in the Twin Cities, just enough to make that cake-like coating.”
Satellite images from the weekend showed plumes of dust sweeping across multiple states toward Minnesota.
Some parts of the state saw up to about a half-inch of rain late Sunday into early Monday — but that rainfall was spotty and not enough to relieve ongoing drought conditions across much of Minnesota.
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, which saw just a trace of rain overnight, is now nearly 10 inches below normal precipitation for the year. The airport has seen just four-tenths of an inch of rain since Sept. 1.
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