A low pressure system over the central United States brought strong winds and rising dust to the region in mid-March, 2014.
March 18, winds gusting to 55 mph (85 km/h) picked up exposed soil from the parched landscape, resulting in a large dust storm that covered parts of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. The storm was the second in the month to sweep across the region with similar wind patterns.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image of the event at 18:15 UTC (1:15 p.m. Central Standard Time. The southern plume of dust rises from New Mexico and stretches about 175 km (110 mi) across the Texas panhandle. In the north, tan dust rises southeast of Pueblo, Colorado and billows across the Colorado prairies, including the Comanche National Grassland, completely obscuring the land from view. The edges of this dust plume also travel across southwest Kansas, western Oklahoma and into the Texas panhandle.