Crazy dust storm impacts Permian Basin

Jun. 8—Now we are hot and dirty.

A wall of dust extending from Orla to Grandfalls made its way into the Odessa-Midland area shortly before noon on Wednesday. The storm was estimated to be about 100 miles long moving southwest at about 35 mph.

Both Interstates 10 and 20 were impacted by the massive wall of dirt.

Clear, sunny skies from the morning were quickly replaced by a haze as a haboob reduced visibilities down to nearly a quarter mile in some spots.

A front-outflow boundary began moving into the northern Permian Basin, accompanied by patchy blowing dust and gusty north winds at about 40-50 mph being reported by the National Weather Service in Midland.

The outflow boundary originated from thunderstorms in the panhandle Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

"Then, cold air raised southward, past the cotton fields north of the Odessa-Midland area and picked up blowing dust," Science and Operations Manager at the National Weather Service in Midland Brian Curran said. "

Widespread blowing dust continued in the late morning hours along and behind the cold front, moving south towards the I-20 corridor.

At about 1:17 p.m. Wednesday, visibility was still down to about a mile near the Midland International Air and Space Port and was much less in other parts of Odessa and Midland.

"Locally, visibilities dropped down toward a quarter of a mile," Curran said. "Basically what happened is thunderstorms cooled the air, hundreds of cubic miles of air that hit the ground, spread out and splashed and created this strong haboob which raced across the Odessa area before noon."

The dust storm continued to move south with winds between 40-50 mph during Wednesday afternoon.

A dust storm advisory was issued for much of the counties in the Permian Basin including Ector, Brewster, Crane, Culberson, Glasscock, Jeff Davis, Loving, Midland, Pecos, Reagan, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Ward and Winkler.

Dusty conditions were expected to improve throughout the afternoon with visibilities improving by the later afternoon.

Thursday's high is expected to be about 98 degrees Fahrenheit with a low of 78 and clear skies. Friday is expected to be back in the triple digits with a high of 102 and a low of 75. Triple-digit temperature and mostly clear skies are expected to last throughout the weekend and into next week with Monday expecting a high of 104.