Massive dust storm hits Lubbock, Texas

A haboob – an enormous dust storm – swept through parts of Lubbock, Texas on the evening of Monday, October 17, 2011.

A haboob, also known as a dust storm, swept through parts of Lubbock, Texas on the evening of Monday, October 17, 2011. A strong cold front triggered thunderstorms that brought strong winds down to the surface, picking up dust and dirt and pulling it towards the city of Lubbock, Texas. As seen in the video above from KCBD news, the large haboob swept over the city resulting in zero visibility.

In Garza County, strong winds with gusts near hurricane strength of 75 miles per hour knocked over power lines and ignited fires. Strong winds knocked out power for many people and caused roof damage to some homes. The size of the haboob was fairly large, which the National Weather service compared to regarding an image taken back in 1935 during the height of the dust bowl in Stratford, Texas.

NWS comparing the haboob in Lubbock, Texas to the haboob during the Dust Bowl back in 1935.

The ongoing drought across Texas has contributed to the increasing numbers of dust storms across this region this past year.  The occurrence of haboobs will likely become common as drought conditions are expected to continue across Texas.

Wall of dirt approaching the Overton Hotel from the east side of the Texas Tech campus. Photo credit: NWS/courtesy Emily Davenport

Bottom line: A large haboob hit parts of Lubbock, Texas blacking out the city and causing wind damage to powerlines, roofs, and even parts of the airport. A couple of wildfires were sparked, but luckily, have all been under control.

Matt Daniel

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