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Monsoon 2020: Danger of dust storms

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TUCSON - It's the first week of Monsoon 2020 and while most people think of the dangers associated with the season come with rain. But dust storms can be as dangerous.

We all know the area, that 10 mile stretch of the Interstate 10 that surrounds Picacho Peak. This area is notorious for bad dust storms and is to blame for several deadly accidents in the past.

The reason this area is so bad is due to the flat land, limited barriers and lack of rain during the months leading up to the monsoon.

Dust storms come from the outflows of thunderstorms. A strong thunderstorm outflow will pick up loose soil and dirt and will lift it into the air. The dust can be a mile high and about 100 miles wide.

If you are ever caught in a dust storm, follow these safety tips.

As visibility drops, the first thing you need to do is pull your vehicle off the shoulder. Then put your vehicle in park and turn off all of the lights. Turning off the lights is very important because if you don't, you could get rear-ended.

Remember to pull aside and stay alive.

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Shea Sorenson

Shea Sorenson is the morning meteorologist at News 4 Tucson. Tune in for your forecast from 5 AM to 7 AM and at 12 PM Monday through Friday.

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