Strong wings carried dust and dirt from the exposed grazing land of West Texas to the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Monday, dirtying cars and causing some residents to get an alert about poor air quality.

The cause is the same storm system that brought strong wind gusts to the area Sunday evening.

“Out in West Texas at this time of year there’s a lot of grazing land and farmland,” National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Fano said Monday morning. “There’s no vegetation in that land right now — it’s pretty much exposed dirt, and when you have 60, 70 mph winds blowing out there, that’s all it takes.”

The Environmental Protection Agency uses the Air Quality Index to determine how healthy the air is to breathe, using a scale from zero to 500. An AQI under 100 is thought to be satisfactory, according to the EPA, while an AQI over 300 is hazardous for everyone, regardless of any preexisting health or breathing problems you may or may not have.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, the air quality for downtown Dallas was measured at 138, according to; though PurpleAir, which uses real-time sensors to measure air quality, measured an AQI of 292 near Paul Quinn College in South Dallas — increasing health risks for everybody.

People with breathing conditions like asthma might find it harder to take a breath outside Monday morning. But Fano, the National Weather Service meteorologist, said the quality of the air will improve as the day continues.

Here’s the National Weather Service forecast for the next few days:

Monday: Sunny, with a high temperature near 76. Winds at 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. The low is 50 degrees.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. South wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west southwest in the morning. The low will be around 60 degrees.

Wednesday: A 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms before noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 76. The low will be around 60 degrees.

Thursday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 77 degrees. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. The lows will be around 40 degrees at night.

Friday: Sunny and breezy, with a high near 58 degrees. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph.

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