In case you missed it: Snowstorm buries parts of central US, giant pollen haboob sweeps through Carolina sky and the 1st photo of a black hole unveiled

By Adriana Navarro, AccuWeather staff writer
April 12, 2019, 4:53:05 PM EDT

A spring snowstorm swept through the central United States this week, burying counties across several states in snow and unleashing high-speed winds. At least two lives were claimed by the blockbuster storm.

The system brought torrential rain, mountain snow, powerful winds and blowing dust to the west Tuesday, knocking out power to 50,000 in the Los Angeles area.

As the system moved, a 107-mph wind gust was recorded in Pueblo West, Colorado. Powerful gusts on the southern end of the storm created areas of blowing dust in the southwest in New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma on Wednesday evening, even reaching into Mexico.

The wind was powerful enough to pick up dust and carry it up into the atmosphere, where the particles mixed with the snow before falling on the northern side of the storm. The result was yellow, orange and brown dirty snow.

State officials had declared blizzard warnings in South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Minnesota.

SD Snow 4-11-2019

Road conditions in South Dakota remained poor on Thursday, April 11. (Twitter photo/South Dakota Highway Patrol)

AccuWeather forecasters said up to 30 inches of snow could fall in some areas of South Dakota by the time the storm moved on. Amid the whiteout conditions, South Dakota officials closed Interstate 29 from Brookings to the North Dakota border for a time on Wednesday. By Thursday morning, advisories warning against travel covered most of the state.

Minnesota's Department of Transportation reported more than 200 accidents on Wednesday. Whiteout conditions were also reported in Wyoming and Montana.

The storm triggered severe thunderstorms in Kansas and Nebraska on Thursday.

A small tornado moved across northeastern Alabama on Monday, hurting at least one person in Blount County, according to AP. The National Weather Service (NWS) estimated the EF1 tornado to have had winds of at 90 mph. The high winds tilted trees and utility lines while causing damage to farms and other rural buildings.

A wall of pollen preceded a severe storm in the Carolinas on Monday. Gusty winds ahead of the storms swept up pollen from blooming plants, creating an view reminiscent of a southwestern haboob.

Pollen haboob small promo

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Earlier in the week, a state of emergency was declared in Rio de Janeiro after torrential downpours caused flooding and mudslides that killed at least 10 people.

Within 24 hours, more than 380 mm (15 inches) of rain fell in a neighborhood in Copacabana, an abnormal amount even for one of the city's wetter months.

State media in Iran has reported that the nationwide death toll from "the worst flooding in 70 years" reached 77, according to Reuters. Floodwaters have reached around 1,900 cities and villages across Iran, according to Reuters, following heavy rainfall since March 19.

According to the state news agency IRNA, about 46,000 people were housed in government-provided emergency shelters.

iran flooding AP

In this Monday, April 1, 2019, photo, a man watches as floodwaters hit the city of Khorramabad in the western province of Lorestan, Iran. Iran has been facing major flooding for the past few weeks. (AP Photo/Erfan Keshvari/ISNA)

The Middle East faces another round of dangerous weather. Locations across southern and eastern Iran are at the highest risk of heavy rainfall, with an elevated risk for flooding this weekend.

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On Wednesday, astronomers released the first images of a black hole, an object once thought of as impossible to see. Researchers also found that observations of the black hole were consistent with Einstein's theory of relativity, confirming that no adjustments need to be made at this time.

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