NWS: Blowing dust hindering travel

High winds and blowing dust have prompted meteorologists at the National Weather Service to issue multiple warnings to residents of Amarillo and the surrounding area.

At 2:57 p.m. meteorologists issued a dust storm warning advising those with respiratory issues to stay indoors and cautioning against travel due to limited visibility. The warning is in addition to a red flag warning, which advises of a high possibility of wildfires in the area. Both expire at 8 p.m. and came after the NWS received reports areas of zero visibility and of an accident near Interstate 40 in east Amarillo, meteorologist B.J Simpson said.

The warnings were issued for six counties: Potter, Randall, Armstrong, Oldham and Deaf Smith. Simpson said the areas most affected would be anywhere a roadway is bordered on the west by an open field.

It is the third major dust storm in the area in the past few weeks, Simpson said, but the first that has been caused by winds from the southwest. The two previous storms were caused northerly winds preceding a front, he said.

Wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour have been recorded in the latest storm, and Simpson said those in the area can expect more of the same until the area receives some type of substantial rainfall.

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