Is it dustier on one side more than the other?

All things outside of Burning Man.

Is it dustier on one side as opposed to the other?

Is it equally as dusty?
No votes
Does it vary from year to year?
Dust, what dust?
Total votes: 14

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Is it dustier on one side more than the other?

Postby dragonflyannie » 13 years ago

I have a continuing debate with my boyfriend that it's not dustier on one side opposed to the other. He thinks it's dustier on the 2:00 side all the time, every year. I say this is just not true. The weather is different every year, the wind changes directions a lot, and the amount of dust varies greatly and I feel is pretty equal on both sides. He still seems to think that the 2:00 side is way dustier than the 10:00 side. I'd like to get some other opinions.

Please help us put this debate to rest! Even if he's right, at least we won't be bickering about it anymore :D

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Postby TestesInSac » 13 years ago

I thought it was dustiest down the middle of the city. I visited at SoLoCo, and found it much dustier than the 9:00 part of the city.


Postby geust » 13 years ago

it sort of is. the winds blow mostly from one direction (sort of south southwestish) and most of the dust going through the city during the event comes from the entrance road. there was a nice aerial pic of the plume going through the city somewhere, and it mostly hits the 2:00 side, though not all of it. in 2001, i slept in the open back of my truck less than a hundred yards from the edge of the plume and had minimal dust, while people in the plume couldn't see for more than 25 ft.

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Postby PJ » 13 years ago

Most dust wouldn't exist if the Playa surface weren't torn up by vehicles, tent stakes, your feet...but mainly vehicles. In spots where the surface hasn't been disturbed by vehicle tires it takes signifiicant wind to kick up the dust--ordinary light breezes won't do it. (This is quite obvious when observing from an aircraft on a breezy day.) Since prevailing winds come from the south-ish, people out south (walk-in camping, airport campers) get the least dust.

Two caveats:

Strong inflow to or gust-front outflow from a thunderstorm can come from any direction, not necessarily from the south.

If the wind (prevailing direction or otherwise) exceeds a certain velocity (I'd estimate ~20 MPH) there's dust everywhere, even the furthest-downwind portions of the airport.

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Postby PetsUntilEaten » 13 years ago

its funny - because i was looking for the poll option to vote for the 2 o'clock side as dustier - but you didn't have the option to pick a side - or say yes - was that you or the weird polling system?

its softer & therefore dustier - I've watched that side get hit pretty good from afar.

i can't say that there's good reason for it - and yet it seems to be undoubtedly true

it also seems to be the "quieter" side

thus i live on the 9 o'clock side.

i'm tempted to change though - but i'm also tempted to swamp all my camping gear with someone else (a sort of trading places for the playa)
as i could do with a change of scenery all the way around.

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oh crap.

Postby dragonflyannie » 13 years ago

pets... what the hell was i thinking. there should be a voting option for 2:00 being a dustier side. crap. and i can't figure out how to edit the polling options. oh hell, hopefully you guys can all just articulate your feelings instead of polling them.

thanks for your feedback so far! i appreciate it!

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Apollonaris Zeus
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Its always dustier on the other side of the fence!

Postby Apollonaris Zeus » 13 years ago

don't be seduced by the sirens call!

unless you want to walk or ride a long way back to camp!


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Postby Bob » 13 years ago

Burning Man generates traffic that causes more than the usual dust everywhere in BRC, but a lot comes from upwind of BRC.

In the case of full-on all-afternoon whiteouts, it doesn't so much matter where you camp, but it's much less dusty outside 5:30<=>7:00. Sometimes.

In years w/ sufficient late-winter-season rain & snow, enough to either rain hard on most of the playa or flood it from tributaries, the whole playa is less dusty.

Snowmelt comes in via the larger tributaries, mainly the Quinn River, so the east side may have more flooding & a better surface if this is the main source.

Intense summer rains may only affect local areas on the playa.

Intermittent lakes or rain-flooded areas may be blown around by the wind, and the wind isn't always from the SW.

And what everybody else said.
Amazing desert structures & stuff:

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam

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2:00 side definitely dustier

Postby ragnar1963 » 13 years ago

Esp. in 2001, when the roads on that side consisted of three inches of talcum powder.

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