After the tornadoes, a dry storm “Mud Bowl” crossed the central United States

Less than a week lateroutbreak giant tornadoes on Friday, December 10th, another impressive phenomenon crossed the central United States: a powder bowldry storm with gusts of over 170 km/h.

The presence of a low pressure system, associated with the WarmWarm record that lasts since the beginning of December in part of the United States, contributed to the formation of strong storms, tornadoes, snowfall in the mountains and windwind stormy in a single day. On Wednesday, December 15, at least 20 new tornadoes were reported under thunderstorms in Nebraska and Iowa. But the cloudsclouds storms had other consequences in addition to these swirlsswirls : in Colorado, a gigantic snowfall” snow sharks (in the mountains) and torrential rain (at low altitude) was filmed by locals and caused many traffic problems.

More impressive, and more catastrophic, the wind associated with the low pressure system generated a phenomenon that looked like an apocalypse: a ” powder bowl “, a dust storm gusting up to 172 km/h in Lamar, Colorado. In addition to causing accidentsaccidents from serial road and city damage, this dust rose into a cloud that spread over tens of thousands of square miles between Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico, reducing visibility to zero. This one powder bowl has been greatly aggravated by soil degradation in this area: the practice of intensive agriculture, which at this time of year leaves the soil bare, over hundreds of kilometers without any treetree no vegetation to stop the wind, and the dust resulting from erosion.

Due to strong wind, record heat and drydry persistent, fire risk was qualified as extreme between north Texas and Kansas, an exceptional fact in mid-December.

The Dust Bowls: ecological disasters

the biggest powder bowl American took place in the 1930s: after devastating the natural grasslands of Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas and eliminating most herbivores (both wild and domestic), farmers at the time faced a series of devastating dust storms. . In question, the practice of intensive agriculture characterized by “excessive plowing” of the land, causing very significant erosion. The appearance of a prolonged drought from 1931 to 1937 did not allow the growth of cereal plants, leaving the soil bare, exposed to storms. This is how the disaster of ” powder bowl of the 1930s” occurred. Several thousand tons of dust were raised in other states, as far as New York and Chicago. The consequences for human activities, agriculture andecologyecology have been so important and lasting that several laws were later passed to revegetate the degraded areas, with wild plants naturally present in the region.

Young powder bowl of December 15 proves that there is still a long way to go in the management of agricultural and natural lands.

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