My BASIC understanding:
Dust is dark. Snow is white. Dark colors absorb more heat. Than usually white and sun reflective snow is now darker, absorbs more heat and melts much faster. Unfortunately, the dust layer always stays on top, instead of melting off the top.
Check out this article for more of an explanation: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/7...-snowmelt.html
From the 2009 Article:
"This year, 12 dust storms have painted the mountain snowpack red and advanced the retreat of snow cover, likely by more than a month across Colorado. Under climate change, warming and drying of the desert Southwest is likely to result in greater dust accumulation in the mountains."
"Earlier snowmelt by desert dust depletes the natural water reservoirs of mountain snowpacks and in turn affects the delivery of water to urban and agricultural areas."
Just read it.....