Blowing dust from West Texas may accompany Friday cold front

Weather Blog

Gusty northwest winds arriving Friday afternoon on the heels of a rain-free cold front may transport blowing dust into Central Texas, including into the Austin area.

While there will not be any significant health impacts, you may notice a haze over the skyline Friday afternoon, and those spending time outdoors or exercising outside may experience minor eye or throat irritation.

Forecast wind gusts Friday afternoon

The full air quality forecast from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is included below:

Light amounts of suspended dust generated the previous day associated with the passing of the cold frontal boundary, along with persistent elevated morning and afternoon winds across portions of the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, Permian Basin, and possibly through Northwest and North Central Texas could be enough to raise the daily PM10 AQI to the lower to middle of the “Moderate” range in parts of the Amarillo, Lubbock, and Midland-Odessa areas and the upper end of the “Good” range (perhaps with an isolated low “Moderate” or two) in parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Light amounts of patchy residual smoke from agricultural and industrial burning in Mexico and Central America filtering over South and Southwest Texas while expanding into Central Texas combined with slightly elevated urban fine particulate background levels associated with slightly building continental haze across the eastern two-thirds of the state could be enough to raise the daily PM2.5 AQI to the lower end of the “Moderate” range in parts of the Austin, Brownsville-McAllen, Houston, Laredo, and San Antonio areas.

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