Dust Bowl, the name given to areas of the U.S. prairie states that suffered ecological devastation in the 1930s and then to a lesser extent in the mid-1950s. This article provides a review and synthesis of scholarly knowledge of Depression-era droughts on the North American Great Plains, a time and place known colloquially as the Dust Bowl era or the Dirty Thirties. Households and people were struck by massive thunder or wind storms of dust, along with the Depression. In this informational text, Jessica McBirney discusses the causes of the Dust Bowl and how Americans were impacted by this period of dust storms. Dust Bowl migrants squeezed into trucks and jalopies—beat-up old cars—laden with their meager possessions and headed west, many taking the old U.S. Highway 66. This article provides a review and synthesis of scholarly knowledge of Depression-era droughts on the North American Great Plains, a time and place known colloquially as the Dust Bowl era or the Dirty Thirties. The “Dust Bowl” drought of the 1930s was highly unusual for North America, deviating from the typical pattern forced by “La Nina” with the maximum drying in the central and northern Plains, warm temperature anomalies across almost the entire continent, and widespread dust storms. The Dust Bowl got its name on April 15, 1935, the day after Black Sunday.

The Dust Bowl was a time of harsh dust storms in the central United States during the 1930s. If it was not for the geography with the Southern Superb Plains, large machinery, plus the extremely dried climate, the Dust Bowl might have never existed, and … At its worst, the Dust Bowl covered about 100 million acres in the Southern Plains, an area roughly the size of Pennsylvania. Dust storms also swept across the northern prairies of the United States and Canada, but the damage there couldn't compare to the devastation farther south.

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