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Dust storm whips through Manitoba

Staff writers
May 15, 2012 — Strong winds whipped across southern Manitoba Monday night resulting in blowing dust and poor visibilities.

Blowing dust reduced visibilities to less than 1 km Monday night
Blowing dust reduced visibilities to less than 1 km Monday night

After a day of mild conditions and temperatures into the upper 20s, a sharp cold front swept through southern Manitoba Monday night.

A few showers and thunderstorms developed along the front, as well as powerful winds.

"Gusts of 80-100 km/h were recorded in some places," says Rob Davis, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "Those strong winds combined with dry soil resulted in a lot of blowing dust."

Callers to The Weather Network Stormline say the dirt was flying everywhere and some were even forced to pull over because of the near zero visibility. Some say the howling winds sounded like a freight train moving through and lead to downed trees and power outages.

There were also several second hand reports of tornadoes in the Red River Valley, but according to Environment Canada, radar did not indicate any significant rotation with these storms.

"With dust flying everywhere it probably made it look and feel like a tornado was moving through, but it may have been straight line winds that picked up the dust and spread it around," says Davis.

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