BOISE – A massive dust storm that blew across the Treasure Valley Sunday seemingly came out of nowhere.
Phone calls and emails flooded our newsroom as everyone wanted to know what was happening in the sky.
The dust storm carried itself from eastern Oregon, with winds of 50 to 60 miles per hour pushing it into Idaho.
If you were outside, you probably found it hard to breathe in.
As we headed outside Monday evening, the blue sky was still kind of gray.
These conditions could stick around through the night, and that means if you are sensitive to this kind of air pollution, you may want to stay inside.
“I walked outside and it was just gray and eerie, and I didn't see it roll in, but it was pretty dusty,” said Todd Pritchard, sales manager at Peterson Toyota in Boise.
Meteorologists say a dust storm like this one is not completely unheard of, but this one was especially dense.
Wind from thunderstorms in Oregon carried the dust into Idaho, decreasing visibility to about two miles and landing dust everywhere.
“It didn't cross my mind until I came in and I it, it looked like a volcano had gone off,” said Pritchard.
Already clean cars on the Peterson Toyota lot will now need another good washing.
Pritchard called his go-to car washing company to come in, but he says the wait was long.
“Ya know I’m sure every other lot is the same way trying to get them to come out and wash the cars,” said Pritchard.
You may have noticed your eyes itch a bit from the dust storm.
“There was definitely something going on that affected quite a few people last night,” said Allergist Dr. John Jeppson.
Dr. Jeppson says storms like this one can put a lot of irritants in the air -- from dirt to mold and pollen. Those already suffering from asthma and allergies could be especially impacted, even days later.
“My wife and I were walking in our neighborhood last night and we both had trouble breathing,” said Dr. Jeppson. “We live on the edge of Boise and it was pretty dramatic where we were, you couldn't see an end to the street.”
A lot of people are wondering if the dust storm came from a wildfire burning nearby, but that is not the case. We do have wildfires, but major ones are to the east, and winds from those fires are pushing smoke away from the valley.