Sunday, July 17, 2011

"What is an Haboob?

Earlier this month, Phoenix experienced a sandstorm that will certainly go into the record books. Near sunset on the 5th of July, Phoenix was enveloped in sandstorm that extended up 3500 feet and was 60 miles wide. In a matter of seconds, the sky became dark, visibility was impossible and in many areas communities were without power.

While it is not uncommon for the southwest to have sandstorms between May and September this storm was definitely exceptional as one can see from the photos taken by news organizations. Another name for this kind of storm is called "Haboob", which is an Arabic name. These kinds of storms are also quite common in Arabia, North Africa, and India. When this storm struck earlier this month, there was certainly a science fiction quality to the eeriness of this event.

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