What happened last Friday?

A dusty storm Friday October 23, 2020 moves across our area. Photo from Gwendolyn Berry
A dusty storm Friday October 23, 2020 moves across our area. Photo from Gwendolyn Berry

You may have started last weekend windy and dusty. I got this email from a Cypress viewer:

“Friday around 3 pm we had a wind storm--well, mostly sand storm. Wind was blowing, I want to say, around 60 mph and it was like a dust storm, then some heavy rain. Do you have any idea why we had a dust storm? First time it has ever happened here. Patricia L.”

I certainly can. Look, first, at the synoptic maps from Friday morning to Friday afternoon and look at the placement of that cold front from north of Dallas (in Denton) to the coast in just ten hours. That’s 350 miles in ten hours or 35 miles per hour!

Friday morning, 8am, October 23rd, front is in Denton
Friday evening, 6pm, October 23rd, front is past Galveston!

So, for a front to move consistently that quickly, wind obviously is pushing it. IAH maxed out at winds of 40 mph, Hobby 41 mph, Conroe 35 mph, Tomball 31 mph, Pearland 30 mph and Galveston 25 mph. So there’s the wind and I wouldn’t be surprised if Cypress had gusts to 50 mph.

Why? The temperature contrast. The cold front that came through was indeed cold (Dallas had a high of only 74°) and before the front arrived we had our highest temperatures all week at 91°. That means the hot air went quickly upward over the cool air causing it to release its energy and come BACK toward the surface as cold, rushing air. So the gusts were impressive along with the clouds. Look at this Click2Pin from shand12 in League City!

League City Clouds last Friday

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