Dust storm on (the Dutch island of) Texel

Even on the Dutch Wadden Island of Texel we now experience dust storms. The extreme weather conditions (prolonged lack of rain and continuous gale-force winds) caused the top soils of pastures to be blown off.
Dust storms or outbreaks are typical features of desert areas and only rarely occur in the temperate regions of our planet.

With the lack of rain over the past few weeks, the low temperatures and the crop not yet protecting the top soils, but especially with the strong easterly winds, conditions were optimal for dust outbreaks to occur.
[Image courtesy of Michelle van der does]
Below we show the charts of meteorological conditions on monday, March 1, 2018, from 00:00 to 08:00 GMT+1: strong easterly winds (8 Bft., >17m/s), a typical winter synoptic situation. The threshold wind velocity for dust emission from soils is 10 m/s and all other conditions (particularly bare soils) were met. There was nothing to stop a dust event from happening.
These dust storm outbreaks can potentially lead to serious problems, even in countries that have moderate climates. In April 2011 a huge traffic accident, involving more than 40 cars, was caused by a severe reduction in visibility as a result of a dust storm.


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