In Lubbock, Texas a dust storm hit hard on Monday, October 17, 2011 at around 5:30 pm. A cold front was bringing in North wind gusts up to 60 mph in the Texas South Plains. The cold front carried a wall of dust through the Texas panhandle that resulted in power outages and zero visibility.
This wall of dust is known as a “Haboob” in meteorology. It’s defined as ” a type of intense duststorm carried on an atmospheric gravity current.” These type of duststorms are very common in the desert lands such as; the Sahara Desert, Alice Springs in Australia, Iraq, and frequently in Arizona, Mexico and Texas. Essentially what happens is a downdraft reaches dry, loose ground, like sand, and is blown up into the air creating a wall of dust that looks like a storm cloud. These type of sand and dust walls can reach up to 62 miles wide and have winds traveling at 20-60 mph.
Texas has been in a severe drought this year, resulting in crops and oyster damage. It’s been reported by the National Weather Service that 2011 could be the driest the South Plains has seen in quite sometime.
Lubbock, Texas city spokesman, Jeff McKito was driving home from work as reported to the Associated Press that: “It was pretty spectacular. Everything just turned black.” He said, “Cars pulled over and stopped, but you don’t want to get out of the car in this situation.”
Someone sent CNN iReport a video and reports:
I was in my home when I first noticed the sky turning red through my window. I took the video while standing in a lawn chair on my porch. The most severe part of the storm, as seen on the video, lasted for about 20 minutes.
Lubbock, Texas hasn’t seen a dust-storm this bad since the 1930’s Dust Bowl when the skies went from light to dark instantly when the 8,000 foot dust cloud came through at 70 mph.
No injuries were reported from the Lubbock, Texas dust storm.
- This is why you don’t drive in a dust storm [Video] (jalopnik.com)