Poster Session P1.22 The 24 February 2007 North Texas dust storm: an impact weather event

Monday, 25 June 2007
Summit C (The Yarrow Resort Hotel and Conference Center)
Bernard N. Meisner, NWS Southern Region Headquarters, Fort Worth, TX; and J. A. Schultz

Handout (1.6 MB)

A powerful dust storm impacted a substantial part of North Texas on the morning and afternoon of 24 February 2007. The strong winds were the result of a steep pressure gradient associated with a developing extratropical cyclone in the central Plains. A combination of long term drought and fallow winter fields provided the source for the wind-blown dust cloud which, at one point, was estimated to be 400 miles long, 70 miles wide, and extending up to 17,500 above the ground.

Winds at Dallas Fort Worth Airport gusted at 56 mph and visibility dropped as low a one mile, resulting in over 500 flights cancelled at Dallas Fort Worth and Dallas Love airports. The impacts to the aviation industry extended as far away as Los Angeles Airport where airlines struggled to rebook hundreds of people whose flights were canceled. Power outages impacted approximately 90,000 homes and business in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Hundred of fires were reported statewide. Two high school athletes were injured in Fort Worth when they were struck by a windblown table during a track meet.

In this presentation we will discuss the meteorological aspects of the event. We will also review how the storm impacted various segments of the economy and what mitigating actions were taken to minimize those impacts.

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