We had a haboob yesterday! I was driving back from Henderson and once I rounded the Railroad Pass curve — you couldn’t exactly miss it over on the dry lake bed!
I stopped and snapped a photo at the stoplight (Veterans & US 93) and then a couple more down by Adams for you — they are below. Be SURE you scroll all the way to the end of this post, where you’ll find a link to a short time lapse video by a guy in Phoenix of one of their haboobs…it’s amazing!
But first – what’s a haboob?!?!? The below are excerpts from Wikipedia:
[A haboob (Arabic meaning “strong wind”) is a type of intense duststorm commonly observed in arid regions throughout the world. They have been observed in the Sahara desert (typically Sudan), as well as across the Arabian Peninsula, throughout Kuwait, and in the most arid regions of Iraq]….[and are frequently created by the collapse of a thunderstorm].
[In the USA, they are frequently observed in the deserts of Arizona, including Yuma and Phoenix, as well as New Mexico and Texas. 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, or “downburst”, 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.]
So now we know WHAT it is — let’s check out some pics:
Here’s the one I took at Veterans Memorial Drive & US 93 (I turned around at Marshall Plaza, so this is at the left turn lane from the highway turning left onto Veterans):
The below is from the road between US 93 and Adams:
And the below is just past Adams, I think…everyone was pulled over taking pics:
Those are the only three that I took…but on found this great photo on the Wikipedia site of a giant haboob in Texas and it has a copyright release — so I can post it here for ya…check out the below:
And probably the COOLEST thing I found is this 30-second or so time lapse video of an ENORMOUS haboob in Phoenix on July 18th, 2011…it’s amazing! Click on the image below and you’ll be taken to a Vimeo video upload by a guy named Mike Olbinski…click here to visit his Vimeo page and watch more videos of haboobs in the Phoenix area…there was one just last week (August 18th, 2011) that’s HUGE!