Remember the strange milky –white rain that fell down from the sky in February and covered the streets, cars and coated everything in a white film?
The mysterious milky rain puzzled the scientists and since then, they have tried to come up with a plausible explanation for this uncommon weather condition.
A team of researchers from the Washington State University said they have uncovered the mystery behind the milky rain.
According to them, the white rain was caused by the dust that rose from the dry bed of a river located at approximately 772 kilometers from where the weather phenomenon occurred.
The milky rain left trails of powdery residues across a stretch of 200 miles, mainly in the eastern areas of Washington and Oregon.
At that time, scientists were perplexed regarding the origins of the weird precipitation.
Back in February, some experts assumed that the milky rain was a direct consequence of a volcano that erupted in Japan a few weeks before the rain.
Others speculated that the powdery substance was caused by wildfires, while some believed a dust storm in Nevada was to blame.
However, all these theories were proven to be false by a team of scientists from the Washington State University.
The team consisted of a meteorologist, a hydrochemist and two geologists.
They teamed up to analyze the samples of the rainwater and determine its chemical composition.
They also studied data of the wind pattern that occurred in February.
Brian Lamb, a scientist at the university’s Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, explained that the analysis of the wind trajectory didn’t add up.
According to Lamb, when the milky rain fell, the air was actually flowing from the south.
The researchers also analyzed the levels of sodium in the rainwater to solve the mystery of the milky rain’s origins.
Kent Keller, a hydrochemist at the university, said that the chemical composition points out to a saline source coming from a dry lake bed.
After they analyzed the rainwater, the scientists concluded that the Summer Lake from Oregon was responsible for the powdery texture of the rain. The Summer Lake is shallow and dries often during a drought.
The night prior to the milky rain, there was a storm of winds that reached 60 miles per hour in the region of the lake.
Meteorologist Nic Loyd said that the winds could have been strong enough to lift the dust plume, mixing it with the rain.
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