Ominous green cloud towers over town as storm stirs up rare pollen haboob
A thunderstorm kicked up a pollen haboob in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Monday, April 8, 2019. (Facebook/Jeremy Gilchrist)
A wall of pollen preceded a severe storm, and it resembled a dramatic weather phenomenon more common in the deserts of the southwestern United States.
Blooming plants spread a plethora of pollen across the Carolinas that accumulated on many outdoor surfaces during a short stretch of dry weather. This dry spell came to an end on Monday when strong thunderstorms swept across the region.
Gusty winds ahead of the storms sent clouds of pollen hundreds of feet into the air, reminiscent of a phenomenon known as a haboob.
Haboobs are common in desert climates when wind expanding out from a thunderstorm kicks up a wall of dust into the air. These can be dangerous, greatly reducing visibility and making travel nearly impossible.
The pollen haboob on Monday was not nearly as intense as those in the desert; however, it was very rare in comparison, as they can only happen around the time plants are blooming in the spring.
Down came the rain and washed the pollen out. This video posted on Twitter shows just how thick the pollen is in North Carolina. A recent rainfall caused a dramatic lime-yellowish wave or sorts to cascade down the cement. Grab the tissues!
After gusty winds blew around the pollen, heavy downpours helped to wash it away.
Small streams and water rushing into storm drains were colored green due to the pollen-filled water, while pollen-glazed puddles pooled in many areas following the storms.
Dry weather is expected to return at midweek before rain returns on Friday.
The impending bouts of rain will help to scrub the atmosphere of pollen and, potentially, spark another pollen haboob.Report a Typo
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