Strong Winds Cause Dust Storm in Texas and Oklahoma


Dust over Texas

Dust from West Texas causes an eerie
sky over Denton, Texas on January 22,
2012.  Photo by Mike Mezeul II


An unusual event occurred across the Southern Plains on Sunday, January 22, 2012.  Due to the abnormally dry conditions across eastern New Mexico and far Western Texas, strong winds were able to pick up large amounts of dust and dirt, and was able to deposit the sediment across most of Texas and Oklahoma.  The dust was even able to make it into the Topeka area (images below). When light sprinkles occurred overnight it collected some of the airborne dust and desposited it on cars around the area.


Blue Car with Dust             Blue Car with Dust    

(Above)  The dark paint of this car in Topeka shows the dust spots caused by the light rain that picked up the dust from West Texas.


The amount of dust picked up by the strong winds was enough to be visible from weather satellites. 

Texas Dust with Labels  

(Above)  The stream of dust coming off the Southern High Plains, pushing
eastward toward Dallas/Fort Worth and Oklahoma City.



(Above)  An animation of the dust streaming off the High Plains, and moving eastward. 
Notice the strong gust of wind picking up more dust near Childress, Texas
along the leading edge of the cold front. The observation at Childress
indicates 57 knot (66 mph) wind gust as a visible swath of dust moves through.


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