Dust Storm in Texas • Earth.com Dust Storm in Texas

Last update: July 6th, 2020 at 3:00 pm

In late February 2012, a dust storm in the Texas Panhandle dropped visibility to near-zero, and caused numerous accidents and two deaths, according to news station WJLA. The dust swept from eastern New Mexico through Texas, forming a giant arc north of Lubbock.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on February 20, 2012. The dust is thickest north of Lubbock, but some dust hovers over that city as well.Winds that gusted up to 63 miles per hour (101 kilometers per hour) pushed a thick curtain of dust across Western Texas on February 19, 2004.

The storm caused up to 30 car accidents on U.S. Highway 84 near Lubbock, the Associated Press reported, and forced the road to close for several hours. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite provides a broad view of the storm at 12:15 pm, U.S. Central Time. An image taken by the MODIS instrument on the Aqua satellite an hour and a half later shows that the dust had spread over a larger area in Northern Mexico, but had thinned out in northwestern Texas.

Credit: NASA images courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.

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