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Understanding Why Dust Storms Impact Texoma

As we face another risk of blowing dust Bryan and Mike help us understand why they happen.
To get a more total explanation click the video.

Most dust storms or blowing dust in Texoma originates on the South Plains of West Texas near the city of Lubbock.

The cotton fields, which are bare this time of year allow the wind to pick up the bare soil and blow it into Texoma.

In addition, if the winds (which are forecast today) begin in southeast New Mexico, they will pick up dirt, gravel and sand grains from the northern Chihuahua Desert and then blow across the South Plains of West Texas where the dust storm just intensifies.  Then by the time it arrives in Texoma the dust is thick and reduces our visibility greatly.

One thing most folks think prevents dust storms or blowing dust actually increases the likelihood of them occurring and that is rainfall.  If a small amount of rain or fog (water droplets) form over the South Plains of West Texas 24 hours before a dust event that moisture in the top few millimeters of soil quickly evaporates after a bit of sun or warmer temperatures.  This turns that soil to a powdery dust.  Which then enhances the amount of dust picked up by the wind.  Therefore the worst thing that can happen is a bit of rainfall or fog in the day before a wind event.

The alerts associated with dust include the following:

*Blowing Dust Advisory* which means that blowing dust will reduce visibility to one mile or less at times.  Use extreme caution driving into dust.

*DUST STORM WARNING* which means that blowing dust will reduce visibility to near zero at times.  And motorists are encouraged to delay or cancel travel until the dust storm passes.  Numerous mufti-vehicle pileups have occurred during these conditions.

For more information   click the link for video in the picture box.

KFDX Meteorologist Bryan Rupp
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