Tumblemageddon: Utah Town Overwhelmed by Tumbleweed Onslaught

Posted on March 5, 2024

Tumbleweeds are not unusual in parts of Utah but the amount of tumbleweeds have reached a much higher magnitude this year in South Jordan. Some people were even temporarily blocked from getting out their front doors by the tumbleweeds.

Tumbleweeds roll in the wind by design to spread their seeds as far and wide as possible. Biologist Debra Ayres studied tumbleweeds at the University of California, Davis. She told PBS, "They tumble to disperse the seeds, and thereby reduce competition." The prickly invasive weed is also known as the Russian thistle.

Tumbleweeds can get stuck when they encounter large structures, like a house or a store. They then start to pile up around the structure. This is what is happening in the small Utah town where they are calling it "Tumblemaggedon." The tumbleweed accumulation was helped along by strong winds of up to 70 mph.

This footage from Fox Weather shows the tumbleweeds piling up over cars and in front of homes.

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