Skip to comments.Rainy Riddle Milky-White Showers Shake Up Silver City (NM) Area
Posted on 01/16/2008 7:23:44 AM PST by CedarDave
You've heard of the Milky Way. Now there's the milky rain.
Scientists and others are trying to get to the bottom of a meteorological mystery in southwestern New Mexico: What caused the milky-white rain that fell last week over a large swath of Grant County, from Silver City to the Gila Cliff Dwellings?
"I don't know what it was, but it left a milky, white residue on all the vehicles in town," said Lt. Eddie Ortiz, 48, of the Grant County Sheriff's Department, talking about the unusual Jan. 7 rainstorm.
"It was like someone spilled milk on your windshield and it dried up," Ortiz said. ...
The storm left the few carwashes in Silver City busy for days as residents tried to remove the white residue the storm left behind.
Efforts to analyze the mysterious rain began quickly. Among those collecting samples were Gila resident Russel Dobkins, the Gila Resources Information Project, or GRIP, a Silver City-based environmental group and the state Environment Department.
Rain samples were sent last week to laboratories at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro and the University of Texas at El Paso. A New Mexico State University professor was also enlisted to examine weather patterns the day the white rain fell.
"This was an unusual event, and we are trying to determine what caused it," said Environment Department spokeswoman Marissa Stone.
Based on his own research, Dobkins, a biochemistry student at Western New Mexico University, said the white rain fell over a 200-square-mile area from the Arizona border to the Mimbres Valley.
The rain apparently caused no permanent damage to cars or other property, according to the sheriff's department, and there have been no confirmed reports of health problems resulting from the event.
(Excerpt) Read more at abqjournal.com ...
There's something fishy about this...Richardson comes back to the state and weird things happen.
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Yeah, the money in my pocket disappears.
Probably just a mud storm. Mud storms occur when high winds kick up dust into the atmospher and then rain follows to wash the dust out of the air. Use to have red rain mud storms in Oklahoma.
There were UFO sightings recently ??
But it pours.
Perhaps the weather system picked up something from elsewhere and dropped it there?
It would either be clay dust (calichie) or maybe ash from grass fires.
There is such speculation; maybe a dust storm or storms that blew northeast into Grant County from the state's Bootheel and southeastern Arizona. But the dusty dry lake beds produce dusty or muddy rain and not white rain. White could be from deposits such as gypsum, but it would seem it would be very much more localized. With this widespread event, I suspect it may have come from south of the border. Following the wind direction back southwest and looking at satellite photos may help solve it.
Yes, caliche is white and creme colored.
I saw that on TV. Very strange, indeed! Residents were all spooked.
We get that here in Ruidoso ~20 times a year... It is no mystery or riddle.
The wind picks up gypsum from White Sands, blows it over the mountain and if there is any rain or snow falling it mixes in and looks like milk..... (And dries like cement)..
I’d bet a weeks pay that is exactly what happened in Silver City.
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