A strong cold front with north and westward winds gusting as high as 71 miles per hour churned up a massive dust cloud that stormed across portions of the Texas South Plains on Monday.
The wall of dust darkened skies and stopped traffic. When all was said and done, the winds caused widespread damage, downing power lines, toppling trees, and even jostling small aircraft at a local airport.
The dust cloud was a byproduct of the severe drought in West Texas. In a statement made on Oct. 6, the National Weather Service in Lubbock said that there was a high likelihood that 2011 could be the driest on record for the South Plains of Texas.
While Lubbock is no stranger to dust clouds, Monday's event was beyond anything residents of the region have seen in decades.
My wife and I have lived in Lubbock for 49 years and in West Texas for 52 years, and I have never seen a dust storm like this, City Councilman Paul Beane told local newspaper The Avalanche-Journal. I have seen pictures from the Dust Bowl Days in the 1930s, but I never thought I would see anything like this.
It looked like the end of the world. Beane added.
The National Weather Service in Lubbock, Texas reported blowing dust all Monday afternoon and strong wind gusts churned up a massive wall.
Monday afternoon, the dust restricted visibility in Lubbock to about 5 miles, according to Lubbock meteorologist Matt Ziebell.
Yet, the 8,000-foot-high cloud got even worse just before 6 p.m., dropping visibility to between zero and less than a quarter of a mile.
Lubbock city spokesman Jeff McKito told the Associated Press that he was driving home from work when the dust hit.
It was pretty spectacular. Everything just turned black, he said.
At the Lubbock International Airport, FAA controllers had to evacuate the tower and direct air traffic from a backup center on the ground.
The cold front following the dust storm dropped temperatures from almost 90 degrees at the airport into the lower 60s.
Wind advisories and red flag warnings remained in place on Tuesday for portions of Central Texas because of strong winds and low humidity.
There were no reports of any injuries due to the storm.
Check out the impressive video footage of the Texas dust storm below: