Sandstorms fuelled by winds of up to 80km WITH PHOTOS

16 October 2014 - 20:28 By Shaun Smillie

Strong winds and thunder clouds so high that the rain evaporated before it reached the ground, were the reasons why dust storms rolled across parts of the Free State, Gauteng and North West provinces on Thursday.

South African Weather Service Senior Forecaster Dipuo Tawana said high winds sometimes gusting 80 kilometres an hour was the main culprit.

The phenomena was caused, she explained by dry micro bursts, that are produced by high based thunder storms. This is when cool air accelerates as it hits the ground, then spreading out in all directions.

This then whips up the dirt.

The chances of more dust storms on Friday depend, said Tawana, on the emergence of more dry micro bursts.