Last update: December 14th, 2019 at 8:00 am
Strong northeasterly winds whipped across southern California on December 26, 2015, dropping trees, toppling tractor-trailer trucks, and diverting airline travel, according to several local media reports. The wind, which gusted up to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) at the Ontario International Airport, also picked up large amounts of dust as it whipped across the region. Brown-out conditions due to heavy dust blowing in the wind brought traffic to a halt on the 215 Freeway.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over the gulf of California region while the dust was blowing and captured a true-color image of the event. While much of the sky in this image is crisp and clear, tan dust rises in southern California and blows strongly southward. Additional dust appears to join the storm in northern Mexico, and a thick river of dust is carried over the Gulf of California.