“Haboob” First Dust Storm 2015, Hits Phoenix Area

The term “Haboob” (Arabic: هَبوب‎ habūb “blasting/drafting”),  is exclusively used by Sudanese people. Hobab is a Sudanese local dialect, other Arab countries use the word (Al Riah). Habob is a violent dust storm, can occur in central Sudan when the moist southwesterly flow first arrives (May through July). The moist, unstable air forms thunderstorms in the heat of the afternoon. The initial downflow of air from an approaching storm produces a huge yellow wall of sand and clay that can temporarily reduce visibility to zero. Haboobs occur regularly in arid regions throughout the world.

First Storm Phoenix

I remember how all the birds and little animals would flee that massive wall of dust and you could look almost straight up it as it overwhelmed your house. Daylight turned to sepialight and everything became a little ethereal. If you went outside during them, you’d need a mask and some form of eye protection. Definitely keep a dust mask and eye protection for walking. Make sure that sunglasses wrap all the way around, or pickup a pair of ski goggles if you need something to fit over glasses.

Breathing in the dust can lead to respiratory issues or Valley Fever. Best to take some precautions if you have a chance of being out in it.

The aftermath sucked, though. I hated cleaning the pool after one of those and if I didn’t put a bunch of shock in there right away, it would turn green overnight.

And god forbid you parked your car in the driveway that day.




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