This week a dust storm so ridiculously huge that it was visible from space tore through Colorado. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-East satellite captured a two-hour timelapse of the storm, which you can see above.
On Friday the National Weather Service in Pueblo said gusty north winds exceeded 60 mph (96 kph) and a dust storm warning remained in effect in southeastern Colorado throughout the morning and the early afternoon. The National Weather Service also issued a “blowing dust warning” for the region on Friday, and it said the strong winds increased “critical fire danger,” according to the Denver Post.
The storm severely limited visibility on major roadways. Videos shared by Colorado State Patrol of cars pulled off to the side of the road look like scenes straight out of a Mad Max movie, the skyline dissipated by a thick cloud of dust clogging the air. The conditions were truly frightening for anyone in the region, and in fact proved deadly for some caught in the dust storm.
Windy conditions, low visibility, and a fatal crash shut down a stretch of highway in both directions that runs from Denver to the Kansas state border. The crash killed one person and injured up to 15 others, Colorado State Patrol tweeted, warning travelers that the dust storm was still going strong at the time of the tweet. The interstate remained blocked for more than three hours, a Colorado Department of Transportation spokesperson told the Denver Post.
Winds were also high in the days leading up to the storm. Across Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, officials reported gusts of more than 90 mph (144 kph) in parts of Boulder and Larimer counties and 116 mph (186 kph) winds near the town of Breckenridge, according to local NBC affiliate 9News.