Colorado dust made for a hazy morning in Austin


If you were up early this morning, did you notice there was a bit of a haze in the sky? We certainly did! The haze was caused by dust that was kicked up from yesterday’s gusty winds that originated all the way from eastern Colorado/western Kansas. Take a look at some of the satellite imagery from the National Weather Service and GOES-16.

Satellite images at 1:41 PM CST 1/15/2021

The large swirl you see in the image above is a strong low pressure system that brought blizzard conditions to parts of the Upper Midwest yesterday. Also pictured is a high pressure over the Desert Southwest. The counterclockwise flow around the low and the clockwise flow around the high caused a tight pressure gradient in the areas between the two air masses. As a result, a strong northwest wind kicked up dust in the area circled and began transporting it south and east.

Satellite images at 9:26AM CST 1/16/2021

Overnight, the winds carried the cloud of dust to Central Texas, which is why we woke up to such hazy conditions this morning. The satellite image above shows the dust making it all the way to the Upper Texas Coast and even to the Gulf of Mexico!

Hazy skies over Austin this morning

According to the National Weather Service in Pueblo, Colorado, winds gusted to near 60 mph causing “near zero visibility” and even closing down highways in the region. A Dust Storm Warning was also issued for parts of Southeastern Colorado yesterday due to the strong winds.

Tweet from the NWS Pueblo issuing a Dust Storm Warning

Winds have calmed significantly today which will allow the dust to settle by this afternoon.

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