Las Vegas is Under Dust Warning, Raising Respiratory Concerns

Posted on: March 14, 2024, 09:14h. 

Last updated on: March 14, 2024, 11:14h.

Las Vegas Valley residents and workers were cautioned that elevated levels of dust are a risk because of Wednesday’s and Thursday’s strong winds.

March 2021 dust storm
A March 2021 dust storm strikes Nevada, pictured above. A less severe dust warning was issued for Clark County this week. (Image: Weather Channel)

The airborne dust can trigger or worsen respiratory ailments, especially for those who are outside, according to Clark County officials.

The dust contains particulate matter which people can inhale as a form of air pollution on windy days. Worsening the situation is the fact that pollen counts also are high, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Workers at construction sites are particularly vulnerable to breathing hazards associated with higher dust levels.

Also at risk are those who suffer from chronic lung or heart ailments. The elderly and children may choose to stay inside until windy conditions subside.

Health Precautions

The Clark County Air Quality Division released the following advice:

  • Limit outdoor exertion. Exercising outside on days experiencing higher dust levels can lead to inhaling harmful particulates.
  • Keep windows and doors closed.
  • Operate air conditioners in vehicles and residences to filter harmful particulates.
  • Install new indoor air filters, if needed.
  • Drive slowly on dirt roads.
  • Avoid driving or drive slowly on vacant lots.
  • Be careful about riding off-road vehicles.

The Clark County Air Quality Division recommends that individuals call the regional dust complaint hotline at 702-385-DUST (3878) to report excessive amounts of dust coming into the air from construction sites, vacant lots, or buildings.

In addition, local officials recommend consulting a physician if a medical condition puts your health at risk when there are higher air levels of air pollution.

Weather Forecast

Las Vegas and the rest of Clark County remain under a high wind warning from the National Weather Service (NWS). It is to remain in effect until Friday morning.

Northerly winds are predicted to be up to 35 mph, with gusts reaching as high as 55 mph.

Forecasters are also recommending securing covers on garbage cans left outside and fastening other loose items. The gusty winds could also lead to hazardous conditions for those in boats, and sudden crosswinds that could impact tractor-trailers, according to the NWS.

Thursday’s forecast calls for blowing dust in Clark County between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Winds will come from the north-northeast and are predicted to be between 20 and 24 mph. Gusts may reach 37 mph. Wind gusts at Red Rock could reach 49 mph.

Friday’s winds are predicted to lessen to 10-15 mph with gusts of up to 21 mph. There’s a 30% chance of showers, with much of the day forecast to be partly sunny. The high is expected to reach 59 degrees.