As folks stepped out Thursday morning to check how much snow they had gotten or to assess the conditions, they saw a brown tint to the fresh snow.
— Thomas McMahon (@TwisterMc) April 12, 2019
— Loggy (@LogelinMike) April 11, 2019
DIRTY SNOW! Here’s a photo I took this morning of the fresh snow in Mankato, MN. The brown tint on the snow is actually dust from Texas courtesy of strong winds. #Snow #MNwx #TXwx pic.twitter.com/aw84ivbIWX
— Mark Tarello (@mark_tarello) April 11, 2019
Some people even noticed the rain having a brown hue to it…once it evaporated off this person’s car.
@NWSQuadCities Rain today in Montrose IA. My car window isn't usually this dirty after rain. My guess? Strong winds have some Great Plains dirt in the atmosphere. Am I correct? Please correct me if I'm not. TY! pic.twitter.com/LbQkksjVZE
— Celeste Cirinna #GeauxTigers (@cecelsu) April 11, 2019
The reason? The powerful winter storm was swirling across the central United States on Wednesday-Thursday, whipping winds of 50-100 miles per hour through many layers of our atmosphere. Dust and dirt began to be sucked into the southern extent of the storm in New Mexico and Texas on Wednesday.
Switching color schemes, you can see the dust and sand in yellow colors here:
Fast forward to Thursday morning where the low pressure helped pull all that dust and sand into the Upper Midwest!
***Above three images courtesy the University of Wisconsin CIMSS Blog Page. Full story on this topic here.
The result was a dirtier snow than normal.
Have you noticed a tan or orange tint to the snow this morning? If so, the color is likely due to dust that was blown by high winds all the way from west Texas. Here's a satellite image from yesterday showing the blowing dust in west Texas heading NE. #mnwx #wiwx #txwx pic.twitter.com/RIlauFnE3g
— NWS Twin Cities (@NWSTwinCities) April 11, 2019
Even the National Weather Service office in La Crosse, Wisconsin had a little fun with the fellow NWS office in Amarillo.
— NWS La Crosse (@NWSLaCrosse) April 11, 2019
This has happened before. According to the University of Wisconsin’s CIMSS Satellite Blog, a similar event occurred on April 10-11, 2008. Here’s a link to that story.
Thus, people weren’t adding a brown filter to their pictures on social media Thursday. The snow really was on the brown side. If they say ‘Don’t eat the yellow snow’ then we wonder if the same applies to the brown snow!
For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Steve Glazier