New Year's Eve Wind and Dust in Southwest Kansas

A very intense storm moved east from the Colorado Rockies across northern Kansas on December 31st which resulted in high winds over eastern Colorado and western Kansas.  During the early afternoon hours, winds of 60 to 75 mph were recorded along the I-70 corridor from Limon, CO to Goodland, KS.  This generated widespread blowing dust along with light snow showers.  A significant cloud of dust was lofted and then transported southeast into southwest Kansas during the mid to late afternoon hours.  The dust cloud reached Garden City and Dodge City by around 4:00pm CST and led to visibilities below 2 miles at times.  High winds then came shortly thereafter across much of southwest Kansas -- particularly during the 5:00 to 7:00pm time frame.  Widespread 55 to 65 mph wind gusts were recorded.  Below are a few of the higher wind gusts recorded across southwest Kansas during the late afternoon and early evening hours on December 31st:

Healy High School (Weatherlab mesonet) 70 mph
Kendall 1 ESE (mesonet) 66 mph
Garden City Airport (ASOS) 66 mph
Hugoton Airport (AWOS) 66 mph
Shallow Water 1 WNW (mesonet) 65 mph
Dodge City Airport (ASOS) 63 mph
Lakin (mesonet)

62 mph

Syracuse Airport (AWOS) 62 mph

Below is a visible satellite picture at 4:00pm showing the dust cloud across southwest Kansas as it was moving over the Garden City and Dodge City areas:

Below is a photo taken by Kelly Sugden (NWS Dodge City meteorologist) of the sky filled with dust as it was moving through Dodge City around 4:00pm.  The sun was nearly completely obscured at times because of the thickness of the dust:



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