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Dust Storms Along the Mexico-Texas Border
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Dust Storms Along the Mexico-Texas Border

April 24, 2013
The same weather system that brought snow and ice to the American Midwest just after Thanksgiving 2005 also kicked up significant dust in western Texas and eastern Mexico. The winds associated with this cold front also fanned the flames of grass fires in the region, adding smoke to the mixture of aerosols. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying onboard the Aqua satellite captured this image on November 27, 2005. In this image, the most obvious dust cloud is a pale beige dust plume swirling through Texas and Mexico. However, a second, more orange-colored cloud of dust blows across northern Texas in the top right corner of the image. According to news reports, the temperature change from this cold front was extreme, and such big temperature changes often mean severe winds. Parts of northern Texas saw wind speeds around 100 kilometers per hour (60 miles per hour). Resulting dust storms reduced visibility to just 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) in some areas, and swamped local fire departments with calls regarding both fires and downed power lines. Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC