Parts of the Northern Plains experienced a rare weather phenomenon on Thursday evening called a “haboob.”
A haboob is a dust storm commonly seen in deserts, though one was spotted sweeping across parts of Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota.
While the Northern Plains doesn’t have deserts, there’s been plenty of dust following a megadrought that has consumed parts of the Central US.
The National Weather Service tweeted footage of a fast-moving haboob traversing Sioux Falls, South Dakota, transforming the day instantly into the night.
63 mph wind gust here at the office shortly after 4 pm, but many reports of 80+ mph across the region with significant structural damage and trees down!! Please let us know what happened in your area. pic.twitter.com/WlkOg1L2ED
— NWS Sioux Falls (@NWSSiouxFalls) May 13, 2022
Twitter users in Sioux Falls captured insane footage of the dust storm.
This is on the westside of Sioux Falls from our front yard. pic.twitter.com/6HHA35Zm7e
— Jim Clem (@JimRClem) May 12, 2022
— Kevin Tupy (@zwireless) May 12, 2022
— Shawn Hinnant (@Shawnerrific) May 12, 2022
The haboob was also spotted in Little Rock, Iowa. A local news team was trapped in their vehicle with zero visibility as the dust rolled through.
— Rebecca Kopelman (@KopelmanWX) May 12, 2022
A weather satellite picked up the haboob sweeping across Nebraska.
A haboob sweeping across Nebraska this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/KefQ6eItiI
— CIRA (@CIRA_CSU) May 12, 2022
The weather event on Thursday in parts of the Northern Plains is super rare and appears similar to dust storms during the ‘Dust Bowl’ era of the 1930s. Farmers in the region are battling either arid conditions or soggy fields, suggesting crop production could be underwhelming this growing season, adding to food inflation pressures for grains.