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Asian and African dust influences western U.S. rain and snowfall -- study

In the western United States, winter precipitation is key to providing the water states like Colorado and California need to survive their dry summers. The snow and rain that comes in the cold season runs off into reservoirs, where it is stored for drinking water, agriculture, hydropower and other uses. Now, researchers have linked airborne dust and other particles from as far away as the Sahara and Asian deserts with the precipitation that falls over California's Sierra Nevada mountains.

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