On January 10, 2014 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over northern Texas and captured a true-color image of dust plumes blowing across the Texas panhandle. The dust appears to arise near the Texas-New Mexico border and blows eastward across the panhandle. The northernmost plume is tinted whitish-tan, likely from minerals from the 2,000-acre Salt Lake, in Grulla National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS) northern Texas continues to suffer Drought or Severe Drought. Multiple years of drought have damaged Texas pastures, and 86% of wheat-producing areas in the state are in drought. The lack of water and grass in northern Texas not only creates difficulties for cattle, but dry soils are easily pushed aloft by gusting winds. On January 10, 2014, winds in Lubbock, Texas – a city brushed by the southern dust plume – were reported to be a steady 16 mph (26 km/h), with gusts as high as 45 mph (72 km/h).