Archive for October, 2011

The New York Times
The Lede (blog)
October 18, 2011, 12:15 am

(Link to video)

A fearsome dust storm whipped through the Panhandle and South Plains of Texas on Monday with wind gusts up to 75 miles an hour in some places, according to the National Weather Service. The wind caused some power failures and knocked out windows, and The Associated Press reported that a small cargo plane was flipped over at the Preston Smith International Airport in Lubbock.

But perhaps the storm’s most deeply felt effect was a rattling of nerves when the monstrous cloud wrapped the city of Lubbock in darkness shortly before 6 p.m. The video above shows an enormous rust-colored cloud, that appears to stretch all the way from the ground to the sky, moving toward a parking lot until it engulfs the person behind the camera in a thick yellow fog.

In this video, a wall of brown dust creeps across the city, swallowing up every building behind it in darkness. Around a minute and a half into the video, as the cloud closes in, it blocks out the sun.

(Link to video)

“It went from light to dark, just like that,” Alma Williams told The A.P. “I’ve never seen anything like it. It really scared me.”

Tim Oram, a meteorologist at the weather service, said that in Lubbock, the cloud of dust whisked from the ground stretched up to 8,000 feet high and caused zero visibility brown-outs in some places.

“To get to zero visibility, that’s pretty thick,” Mr. Oram said. “That’s what made this one probably a little unusual.”

No injuries had been reported as of Monday night, Mr. Oram said.

The video below, one of two uploaded to the same YouTube account, shows the menacing cloud move over a residential neighborhood as the wind shrieks and howls. The video pans from the impenetrable brown darkness to a crisp blue sky just out of reach of the haze. And then the man behind the camera is swallowed up.

(Link to video)