I am researching the dust-bowl era of the US, and am wondering if the dust-bowl impacted Louisiana. I know it was mostly in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico etc. But I am wondering if it is plausible for a large dust storm to travel through Louisiana (perhaps Northern Louisiana or something). I can't find any info online :/


2 Answers 2


According to the great dust bowl of the 1930s was a policy made disaster:

During the same April as Black Sunday, 1935, one of FDR's advisors, Hugh Hammond Bennett, was in Washington, DC, on his way to testify before Congress about the need for soil conservation legislation. A dust storm arrived in Washington all the way from the Great Plains. As a dusty gloom spread over the nation's capital and blotted out the sun, Bennett explained, "This, gentlemen, is what I have been talking about." Congress passed the Soil Conservation Act that same year.

If the dust from the Dust Bowl could blow through Washington D.C. in April, 1935, following Black Sunday of that month, it could certainly have blown through northern Louisiana a day or three earlier.

On a single day, April 14, 1935, known to history as Black Sunday, more dirt was displaced in the air (around 300 million tons) during a massive dust storm than was moved to build the Panama Canal.

  • Also. it's not that uncommon for dust from central Asia to reach the western US: earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/1352/…
    – jamesqf
    Oct 7, 2021 at 16:58
  • Of course, that is a statement by a politician, so it is about as credible as ....
    – MCW
    Oct 7, 2021 at 17:44
  • But what about Louisiana ? Oct 7, 2021 at 18:16
  • 3
    @blacksmith37 If a politician said that Louisiana existed, I'd seek independent confirming authority... Oh, wait, that's not what you were asking.
    – MCW
    Oct 7, 2021 at 19:16

Not so much no.

While its a common belief that this was an Oklahoma phenomena*, and the two states do nearly border, the serious issues with wind erosion and the associated dust storms were actually largely in an 6-state area centered on the panhandle in far western Oklahoma. In fact, Nebraska had bigger issues with dust storm erosion during that period than Louisiana.

Here's a map of the problem, created by the US Government:

enter image description here

For those who aren't whizzes at central US Geography, the extreme North West corner of Louisiana would be visible in the extreme southeast corner of this map, were there not a handy info box there. The fact that there was a handy info box there tells you how little it was an issue over there.

That being said, the dust clouds themselves were much more widspread than this, and in particular were active to the east/northeast of this area, as that's the direction storms move in that part of the country. Some were reportedly dropping plains dust on east coast cities.

However, Louisiana is to the Southeast of this entire area. Its certainly possible a weird wind may have gone that direction during a storm once or twice, but it wouldn't be the typical wind pattern, and I can't find any record of that happening.

* - Particularly in California, where the climate refugees were collectively called "Okies"

  • 1
    The map shows where the dust came from, not all the places it actually got to. Smoke from the fires in CA/OR this year has certainly gotten a lot of places, often in heavy blankets until the wind shifts.
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 7, 2021 at 18:54
  • @JonCuster - Check the edits.
    – T.E.D.
    Oct 7, 2021 at 18:55
  • Agree that the prevailing weather pattern makes it less likely. OP might want to see about access to newspaper archives from major cities (Baton Rouge more likely than New Orleans, perhaps Alexandra) for the time.
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 7, 2021 at 19:05
  • @JonCuster - Trying to dig up a good map for that too. I'm saying this right now based on local knowledge from living in Tulsa for 40ish years. Our weather has a distinct tendency to come from the SW straight up I-44 (the old Route 66), like it has a Pikepass and is trying to use it while it can.
    – T.E.D.
    Oct 7, 2021 at 19:15
  • I get to watch the weather from Albuquerque head NE for Tulsa... Coming from the NW is more a winter pattern signaling snow.
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 7, 2021 at 19:19

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