As I said in the last post, It’s becoming clear to us that Eastern Washington State now has four distinct seasons; Autumn, Winter, Spring and Smoke & Dust.

Apparently I missed this headline earlier in the year:

Forecast: Dust storms and wildfires ahead for Central and Eastern Washington

By KEPR Staff & KIMA Staff Published: Mar 18, 2015 at 10:29 AM PDT

Allrightee then. So I got it in my head to start snapping early and keep the photos going throughout the day.

Here’s what the underground has to say for today August 14th @ 1:09 Pm

… Dust Storm Warning remains in effect until 11 PM PDT this

* winds… southwest 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.

* Timing… this afternoon and evening.

* Locations… Vantage… Moses Lake… warded… Lind… Ephrata…
Ritzville… Coulee City… Wilbur… Odessa

* impacts… blowing dust with visibility below one mile will be
possible across the Moses Lake area and the upper Columbia
Basin. This will create hazardous travel conditions… which will
include Interstate 90 between Sprague and Vantage and along
Highway 2 between Coulee City and Davenport. Poor visibility has
been reported along 395 near Ritzville and south toward the Tri-
Cities. Multiple accidents have been reported along this stretch
due to the blowing dust.
Multiple accidents have also been
reported along Interstate 90 near Vantage with visibility
reported near zero at times.

Precautionary/preparedness actions…

A dust Storm Warning means severely limited visibilities are
expected with blowing dust. Travel could become extremely
dangerous. Persons with respiratory problems should make
preparations to stay indoors until the storm passes.

11:00 AM pst

11 AM


1 PM pst

1 PM

2 pm pst

2 PM


Travel Alerts


US 395 Both Directions – US 395 is closed between Ritzville and Hatton Coulee, milepost 66 to milepost 96, due to low visibility and multiple collisions from 2:40 pm on August 14, 2015 until further notice. Please select alternate route.
Last Updated: 8/14/2015 2:43 PM
From milepost 66 to milepost 96

Here’s what Allie Norton,of KXLY, has to say on a twitter feed while stuck waiting for 395 to open.

4 pm pst

4 PM

So I put on a heavy duty painters mask and went out to check on the chickens in the Earth Berm Greenhouse. We put them in the greenhouse at 11:00 am this morning with food and water. Good thing as it completely sucks outside. The outdoor cats have the shop, which I hope they’ll stay in for the remainder of the evening. This is supposed to be over by 11pm.

4:30 pm

Into the Sun

 shot taken directly into the sun

A video of the new summer “storms” we’ll be getting – just like this one – no rain, 25mph sustained winds with gusts of 45mph – for 12 hours at a time.


6:30 pm pst

gone one mile away

And my last look at the orchard before going back inside

Smoke and Dust Season

We’re luckier than these guys:

437 PM PDT… Doppler radar indicated a thunderstorm producing
heavy rain across the warned (burn scar) area. Flash flooding is expected to
begin shortly. Excessive rainfall over the burn scar will result
in debris flow moving through the Falls Creek and farewell creek
drainages below the Upper Falls burn scar. The debris flow can
consist of rock… mud… vegetation and other loose materials.

* Some locations that will experience flooding include…
Honeymoon Campground and ruffed grouse campground.

Precautionary/preparedness actions…

Move to higher ground now. Act quickly to protect your life.

Move away from recently burned areas. Life threatening flooding of
creeks… roads and normally dry arroyos is likely. The heavy rains
will likely trigger Rockslides… mudslides and debris flows in steep
terrain… especially in and around these areas.

What an interesting place to practice permaculture. Glad when this “season” is over.