Ever heard of a “Haboob”? Don’t worry neither did I, well until about two weeks ago when a monster Haboob close to a mile high ripped through not only downtown Phoenix but all the outlying suburbs as well. Its just a fancy name for a dust storm, but on a massive scale. These Haboob’s can change light to dark. They can swallow skyscrapers whole. Here is how Wikipedia’s describes the formation of an Haboob just in case you are curious as ever now:
During thunderstorm formation, winds move in a direction opposite to the storm’s travel, and they will move from all directions into the thunderstorm. When the storm collapses and begins to release precipitation, wind directions reverse, gusting outward from the storm and generally gusting the strongest in the direction of the storm’s travel.
When this downdraft, reaches the ground, dry, loose sand from the desert settings is essentially blown up, creating a wall of sediment preceding the storm cloud. This wall of sand can be up to 100 km (60 miles) wide and several kilometers in elevation. At their strongest, Haboob winds can often travel at 35–50 km/h (20–30 mph), and they may approach with little to no warning.
This photograph was taken from the eighth floor of my Apartment building as the brunt of the storm rolled through just to the West of me and the downtown Phoenix landmark, the Westward Ho. I am keeping my eye out again tonight as there is supposedly another one forming. Oh I have figured out a pretty good way to forecast when the next Haboob’s will hit…just wash your car and within 24 hours another Haboob will hit. =)
It happen to me twice now.