The Washington Department of Transportation and the Washington State Patrol are advising drivers of the potential for blowing dust in parts of Eastern Washington on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service office in Spokane is forecasting wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph for the Okanogan Valley, the Waterville Plateau, and the Columbia Basin.

Meteorologist Ron Miller says the starchy breezes could create a hazard near any recently-harvested croplands.

“The farmers have pretty much harvested everything and have moved on to planting for winter. So it can be a dusty time of year and those strong northerly winds could cause problems.”

If the blowing dust occurs, it's expected to have the greatest impact on U.S. Highway 2 from Waterville to Davenport, as well as State Routes 17 and 172 in Douglas County.

Dust issues are also a possibility for the Columbia Basin’s roadways, including Interstate-90 from George to Sprague, but Miller says one key factor makes that concern somewhat less likely.

“They irrigate so much of their land there that it should be less of a threat.”

Breezy but less brisk conditions are also forecast for the Wenatchee Valley, where winds are expected to gust to 20 mph on Tuesday.

Wind speeds throughout Eastern Washington are expected to subside on Wednesday.

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