Dust from a shrinking Great Salt Lake may be accelerating Utah’s snowmelt

Snow in the Wasatch Mountains melted 17 days early in 2022 thanks to a record amount of dust

photo of the Salt Lake City downtown skyline with the Wasatch Mountains in the background

Snow blankets the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City. When dust is deposited during storms, it absorbs sunlight and accelerates snowmelt.

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Utah’s trademarked “greatest snow on earth” may be getting dirtier — and melting faster — due in part to dust blowing off newly exposed lakebed from the shrinking Great Salt Lake.