Saturday, June 29, 2013

Alamogordo, NM Dust Storm

Since Roy and I have been RVing in southwest Texas and southern New Mexico, we have gotten to experience what are referred to as dust storms.  They come up quickly when strong winds blow and disappear just as quickly as they arrive.  You can see the wall of dust off in the distance coming!  The air can get so thick with dust, as to obliterate nearby mountains from view!  We experienced them in Alpine, Texas and the communities of Roswell and Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Here is the view of the Shady Grove RV Park office out our picture window.  It's a nice sunny day!  Note the mountains in the distance, the power pole, and the motor coach to the side of the building.  They are about to disappear! 
This is the initial wind shear as a building rain storm arrives!  Note the distant mountains are gone! 
A little more of a gust and the power pole and motor coach disappear! 
Increasing winds and more dust!  A few minutes later and the view is back to a clear sunny day!  That was the scenario for this dust storm, but they can go on all day and longer.  Dust gets into the camper any way it can and can be seen and felt on things. It's obvious that breathing whatever is blowing in the wind can't be healthy, when the air is this thick.  During prior dust storms Roy and I started to become aware of burning gritty eyes and a feeling of dust in the sinuses, throat, and lungs.  There were some low grade flu like aches and a mild pneumonia feeling in the lungs.  The symptoms always dissipated, as quickly as the dust cleared from the air. 
In the 1930s major dust storms swept across the plains of Canada and America with regularity over a period of ten years!  Roy and I happened to catch a couple of documentaries.  I was surprised to hear reference to Dust Pneumonia!  The name alone seemed to describe what Roy and I were already suspecting, as an impact of dust storms on a person's health!  Here is a nice synopsis of  what the Internet has to say about Dust Pneumonia:  Symptoms include breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, painful breathing, and burning of the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat.  Headache, nausea, weakness, confusion, and flu like symptoms may also be present.  Dust pneumonia is not a condition which can be assumed to be curable with home remedies. 
Roy and I are glad for the opportunity to witness some dust storms during our travels in the southwest, but we'll be happy to leave them behind!