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dust storm[′dəst ‚stȯrm]
a strong wind capable of transporting millions of tons of dust over distances of several thousand kilometers. Dust storms usually develop during warm periods of the year in deserts, semideserts, and arable plains when the soil is dry and vegetation is either weakly developed or absent. They occur in such countries as the USA, China, Egypt, and the USSR (in the southern Ukraine, Northern Caucasus, and the plains regions of Kazakhstan and Middle Asia). Particularly violent dust storms arise when land is inefficiently plowed. Dust storms cause enormous losses to agriculture by covering up young crops and destroying the soil’s surface layer over considerable areas. They also leave drifts on railroad tracks. Dust storms may be somewhat controlled by employing agrotechnical measures, for example, by planting shelterbelts and by retaining water and snow.