Expert: Lubbock Haboob Not Likely to Happen Again for Decade or More

A cold front pushed through West Texas Monday (Oct. 17) and carried with it a wall of dirt, known as a haboob, that coated Lubbock shortly before dinnertime. This kind of weather was common during the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, but probably will not occur again for a decade or more.

Pitch

A cold front pushed through West Texas Monday (Oct. 17) and carried with it a wall of dirt, known as a haboob, that coated Lubbock shortly before dinnertime. This kind of weather was common during the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, but probably will not occur again for a decade or more.

Expert

Eric Bruning, assistant professor, Atmospheric Sciences Group, Department of Geosciences, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3120, or eric.bruning@ttu.edu.

Talking Points

  • Dust storms are common when caused by downdrafts of thunderstorm, but this was unique because it was caused by a cold front from the north.
  • Time lapse video here.
  • Known as a haboob in meteorological terms, the giant cloud of dust, dirt and debris towered more than 8,000 feet over the city. The extraordinary event brought visibility to near zero, with wind gusts reportedly up to 74 mph. Residents and businesses across town reported widespread power outages and property damage.

Quotes

  • "This was a widespread event associated with a cold front. The low pressure center to the southeast intensified rapidly, and made conditions favorable for this. It is really quite unique."
  • "This sort of thing was pretty common during the Dust Bowl in the 1930s and it was associated with cold fronts back then, but that was after an extended period of drought. This is not likely to happen again for a decade or more."

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