Dirty snow a bane for motorists, a boon for carwashes

Feb 22, 2023 | Education

Dirty snow a bane for motorists, a boon for carwashes


Senior Writer

If you’ve been driving around in a mud-caked car or truck of late, you’re not the only one. It seems that last week’s snowstorm brought with it a dusting of so-called “dirty snow.”

Climatologists attribute the phenomenon to high winds, with gusts of up to 50 mph, racing southwestward across the Southern California desert region, all the while mixing dust and sand into the snow-laden clouds, which dropped anywhere from a trace of dirty snow at lower elevations and up to a foot in the Running Springs and Big Bear areas.

This weather anomaly, which is relatively rare in Southern California, is akin to the dirt or mud storms – haboobs – that frequent the Phoenix area in the summertime, causing airlines to delay flights until the storm passes. In the mountaintop area, it resulted in dangerous driving conditions by obstructing drivers’ view of the roadway.

This recent weather condition, while the bane of motorists, is most certainly a boon to carwash operators. Have you noticed the line of cars waiting to be cleansed at the Valero gas station in Rimforest in the past week?

With yet another snowstorm predicted for this coming weekend, don’t be surprised if there’s a repeat performance of last week’s unusual weather phenomenon.


dirty snow

Last week’s “dirty snowstorm” resulted in the splattering of mud on vehicles, creating dangerous driving conditions throughout the mountaintop area. (Photo by Douglas W. Motley)


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