The monster storm that tore across the Midwest this week got our atmosphere all types of wild. So wild, in fact, that winds picked up dust from deserts in New Mexico and Texas and wound up dropping it, alongside snow, all over people’s yards in South Dakota and Minnesota.
Hot, dry conditions in the Southwest, combined with the storm’s ferocious winds—which reached speeds of over 70 miles per hour in some places—created widespread fire danger this week. These conditions also allowed dust to get lofted high into the air before it precipitated out farther north. Winds were strong enough to transport dust from places like the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.
People have been posting photos on Twitter of their slightly off-color snow. As weird as this may seem, it’s not a first. Just last year, Europe got hit with some orange snow full of dust from the Sahara. The snow coloring homes in the Midwest has got nothing on the bright stuff that fell over Russia and Moldova last year, but it’s definitely not your average snow.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tweeted some “Dust in the Wind” would be appropriate for the occasion. Thanks, NOAA. Truly.
[h/t The Washington Post]