As a storm rolled through the state Tuesday afternoon, officials canceled a "red" air quality alert issued earlier in the day.
"The precipitation associated with the storm front has reduced the blowing dust," the state Department of Environmental Quality said in a statement lifting the alert in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Utah counties. "Conditions are now moderate because of particulate matter."
High winds were blowing dust in the northern part of the state, prompting the alert.
Earlier in the day, officials cautioned sensitive people, those with respiratory diseases or heart disease, the elderly and children, to avoid prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors and to avoid "dusty" situations.
Pete Wilensky, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City, said southwest and northwest winds escorting a cold front into Utah picked up dust from the dry Sevier Lake in Millard County and from the Salt Flats and West Desert.
"That combination has created a real dusty environment," Wilensky said.
The precipitation helped control the dust, and winds were expected to die down even more overnight, he said. "Tomorrow things will be back to better air quality."
Winds remained strong into the early afternoon with gusts from 40 mph to as high as 60 mph in the Tooele Valley. Sustained winds ranged between 25 mph and 35 mph. A dust plume coming from Millard County was so thick that it could be seen on satellite images.