Earth News: Texas, USA
Feb 25, 2007
Winds gusting up to 60 mph whipped North Texas on Saturday afternoon, kicking up enough dust in places to turn the sky orange. The dust storm turned Dallas into a danger zone Saturday. Blown-out windows, falling traffic lights and flying grit were all brought on by a RARE, strong westerly wind. Flight cancellations stranded travelers and 90,000 TXU customers sat without power. Railroad crossing arms got stuck and skyscrapers hummed. A downtown street vendor was nearly bowled over by a flying traffic signal. Unmanageable crosswinds at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport caused several hundred flights to be canceled. The National Weather Service issued a blowing dust advisory, the first one Weather Service officials could remember. "We don't usually see west winds this strong." The wind's direction was responsible for the dust, which caused visibility to drop to as low as a quarter-mile in some areas. Strong southerly winds blew through the area back in October, but it has been about 20 YEARS SINCE WESTERLY WINDS WERE AS STRONG as they were Saturday. "Our wind here is usually out of the south, and we don't usually pick up a lot of dust out of the south."