HOUSTON – For the past few days, drivers in the Houston area have been using their windshield washer fluid a bit more than usual because their vehicles have been covered in a thin layer of dust.
It turns out, that dust is the result of strong winds stirring up a dust storm north of Texas, which moved across the state during the weekend.
Tweets from the National Weather Service offices in San Antonio and Houston showed images of the dust plume as it moved across the state.
If you thought it was a bit hazy for portions of central Texas early this morning, you're right! There is some lingering suspended dust particles across the area that has also entered into the Gulf of Mexico from a dust storm that moved across the Texas panhandle yesterday. #txwx pic.twitter.com/uS6wXJzQBd— NWS Austin/San Antonio (@NWSSanAntonio) January 16, 2021
Overnight tonight, satellite imagery is able to detect a dust plume from a dust storm that occurred across Texas today due to strong winds. Some regions in the Panhandle reported 40-60 mph wind gusts. #TXwx #HOUwx #BCSwx #GLSwx pic.twitter.com/kdiK66BvAy— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) January 16, 2021
Weather Service meteorologists said some small fires burning around the Houston area may also be contributing to the hazy skies.
Houston is no stranger to periods of dust, but they typically happen in the summer as a result of the Saharan Air Layer. That is when upper-level winds carry dust from the North Africa desert across the globe and deposit in the Western Hemisphere.