A giant cloud of dust shooting at least 5,000 feet in the sky blew through Reno


A giant cloud of dust shooting at least 5,000 feet in the sky blew through Reno Thursday evening for what meteorologists called a “very rare” occurrence.

“I’ve been here 10 years and I’ve never seen it in Reno,” said Jim Wallmann, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Reno.

Dust storms are common in the Middle East and referred to as haboobs, derived from the Arabic term “habb” meaning “to blow.”

And blow it did in Reno.

Just before 6 p.m. Thursday, meteorologists noticed thunderstorms in Fallon. In eastern and central Nevada locations — such as Fallon, Lovelock and Winnemucca — it’s not rare for thunderstorms to shoot bursts of wind at the ground, picking up large amounts of dust.

Thursday’s dust storm arrived with easterly gusts into Reno. At about 9 p.m., winds started pushing dust into the Truckee Meadows, lasting close to an hour for many locations in Reno and Sparks. Easterly winds resulted from a low-pressure system — the same one that brought rains this week — moving south.

The circulation of the low system created the easterly winds, which aren’t rare in Reno, but usually aren’t coupled with thunderstorms.

Gusts east of Reno reached 50 mph, and sustained winds of 30 mph kept the dust moving into the Truckee Meadows.​​


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