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Air quality warning: Winds kick up dust

Weather Service cautions on blowing dust

Monday's gusty winds have led the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality to issue an air-quality advisory. People with heart disease or respiratory difficulties should reduce their exposure to outside air, a spokeswoman said.

Blowing dust means drivers should be cautious, the National Weather Service said.

The winds may lead to high levels of particulates in the air, including dust, soot and aerosols, said PDEQ's Beth Gorman in a news release.

"If you need to go outside when particulate levels are elevated, it is suggested you reduce your level of exertion to decrease the amount of particulates you breathe into your lungs," she said.

"This advisory will be in effect as long as current conditions last," Gorman said.

Blowing dust

The National Weather Service has issued blowing dust advisories, in effect until 8 p.m., for the Tucson metro area, Tohono O'odham Nation, southern Pinal County, and the Sierra Vista-Benson-Willcox area. Sustained winds of 40 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph, mean visibility could be reduced along Interstate 10 east of Tucson.

While winds may be slightly slower — 30-50 mph — "areas along Interstate 10 in Pinal and Pima counties are a particular concern," the Weather Service said.

The Weather Service also issued a high wind warning for the area, including the Upper San Pedro Valley and eastern Cochise County.

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