Massive sandstorm engulfs Baicheng city, China

massive-sandstorm-engulfs-baicheng-city-china

A massive sandstorm blanketed the city of Baicheng in Jilin Province, Northeast China, on April 3, 2020. The phenomenon is locally known as a "black storm".

Waves of dust were swept up by gale-force winds of 63 to 74 km/h (39 to 46 mph). In one footage, a huge column of sand seemingly blocked out the Sun, turning day into night. Many people were caught off guard as the dark clouds expanded.

Weather officials in the province issued warnings for sandstorms, which lasted 24 hours. Meanwhile, Inner Mongolia was put under yellow warning. Some areas recorded visibility of under 500 m (1 640 feet) at the peak of the storm.

The sand headed eastward as seasonal westerly winds blew it across grassy plains.

Meteorological officials in Jilin and Inner Mongolia also warned that gale-force winds may not only trigger sandstorms but also cause forest fires.

Black storms, such as this one, tend to impact air quality in China's capital city, Beijing, particularly when severe.

Featured image credit: Chave weather

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