Thursday, March 15, 2007

Perspective: U.S. military predicts dust storms with 72-hour accuracy

A dust storm over the Persian Gulf. Dust (or sand) storms can blow at speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour. Storms can have a devastating effect on military operations. For instance, blowing dust was a major factor in the doomed 1980 attempt to rescue U.S. embassy personnel held prisoner in Iran.

WASHINGTON, March 12 (UPI) -- A recent study indicated that the U.S. military can predict dust storms that blow through Iraq in the winter and spring.

The American Meteorological Society issued a report that concluded the United States was able to predict dust events with an accuracy rate of 85 percent and between one and three days in advance during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

It was also noted that the military's three-day forecasts were about as accurate as the 12-hour predictions.

Read the rest at UPI