DENVER (AP) - Dust blown in from the Southwest settled on snow through much of Colorado during this week's storm and will eventually affect how fast the snowpack melts.
Researchers say it fell in Steamboat Springs, Fort Collins, Summit County, and the San Juan mountains. It was also seen in the Denver area but it's possible that dust could also be from other areas too.
Chris Landry of the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies said Friday that if more clean snow keeps falling, the impact of the dust will be delayed. However, he said once this week's snow layer and another deeper layer of dust from an April 8 storm are exposed, the snowmelt will accelerate because the dust absorbs sunlight.
NOAA researcher Jeffrey Deems compares the effect to wearing a dark t-shirt on a sunny day.
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