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'Dust Bowl' winds hit tornado-devastated western United States

'Dust Bowl' winds hit tornado-devastated western United States
December 17, 2021 Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Less than a week after a swarm of powerful tornadoes devastated Kentucky and four other states, a freakish wind storm brought "Dust Bowl" conditions and gusts of more than 100 mph (161 kph) to parts of the Great Plains and Upper Midwest, meteorologists said.

The low pressure wind system, driven by unseasonably high temperatures across Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota, triggered power outages in four US states, including more than 100,000 homes and businesses in Colorado by Wednesday evening.

The storm system could also pummel the region with thunderstorms and snow, the National Weather Service said in an advisory.

"There have been historic 'Dust Bowl' conditions with no visibility in parts of New Mexico and Colorado," said Marc Chenard, a forecaster for the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

"This is highly unusual," Chenard said. "It's shifting east and is unusual for this large of an area, it will be going through the Great Lakes area, Michigan and into Canada by Thursday morning," he said.