Dry weather and an early break up has turned the Anchorage Bowl into a dust bowl this spring.
According to the city's Environmental Health Division the amount of particulates floating through Anchorage's air right now have hit one of the highest levels in the past five years.
The dust is from all the gravel spread on city streets for better traction during winter. Very small particles made up of things like dirt and dried leaves comprise, said Air Quality Specialist Anne Schlapia.
While the dust can be highly visible at certain times of day Schlapia says the city hasn't exceeded federal clean air standards.
One reason for that is the city is able to put a damper on dirt and dust by using a spray of magnesium chloride. Schlapia says road maintenance crews wet down the gravel until it can swept up.
Schlapia says our air won't completely clear until the grass and trees leaves green up and we've had a good rainfall. Until then expect plenty of particulate matter to be floating through Anchorage's air.
That would explain it. My black truck, washed last Saturday, is now a medium gray.