A powerful storm system crossed the Southern Plains on February 20, 2012, producing high winds and blowing dust across much of western Texas. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image at 19:30 UTC (1:30 p.m. CST) on that same day. The primary dust plume partially obscures portions of Palo Duro Canyon.
The National Weather Service (NWS) reported wind gusts as high as 63 mph and visibilities in the blowing dust of a mile at times at the Lubbock airport. Along roadways passing nearby open fields the visibility was reduced to less than 100 feet. West Texas Mesonet also reported Severe Wind Gusts throughout the panhandle. The blowing dust and winds caused several accidents, including causing several high-profile vehicles to turn over.