Powerful winds drove dirt from fields into the air and made visibility nearly zero in central Wisconsin Sunday afternoon, and the result was a pair of pileup crashes involving more than three-dozen vehicles.
There were two distinct pileups on both directions along Interstate 39 between Hwy. 73 and County Hwy. D near the City of Plainview. According to the Wisconsin State Patrol, there were 27 vehicles were involved in the southbound melee while 10 vehicles were involved in the northbound crash.
Despite multiple injuries, only one person was transported to a hospital for treatment.
The chain-reaction crashes happened around 12:30 p.m. and the interstate remained closed until around 7 p.m.
"We've never seen a dust storm like that in those parts," Wisconsin State Patrol Sgt. Jon Pedersen told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
The strong winds Sunday were associated with a cold front that passed through the region that the Milwaukee office of the National Weather Service called a "Pneumonia front."
A Pneumonia front is a term created by the Milwaukee Weather Bureau Office in the 1960s and it refers to a front that results in a one-hour temperature drop of at least 16 degrees Fahrenheit, although the most extreme temperature drops are near the western shores of Lake Michigan.