July 20, 2011

7/18/11: haboob, the sequel... (also known as haboob lite)

So, we had another dust-storm blow through on Monday, and I thought I'd share a bit of it with you. This is what I saw on Monday when I was driving home from work: yup, another dust storm. Not as impressive looking as the first one was, but kinda cool, nonetheless. I say "haboob lite" because the wind gusts were only reported as high as 50 mph, not the as-high-as 70 mph gusts the last one contained. Thank goodness, too, because I had to drive home in it, this time!
The wind really wasn't too, too bad, really- we had to slow down a little, but you could still see okay to drive. The dust is just so fine, with not much vegetation to hold it down, so a lot of it gets tossed really high up into the air in one of these storms. (Which does make me wonder: where does it all end up, anyway??) It reminded me of driving through snow or fog, both of which I'm used to, so it didn't phase me. And thank goodness for automatic window controls, right?! (I had my A/C on anyway, so mine were shut, but can you imagine driving into this with an open window? No, thank you! I would definitely be pulling over to take care of them, for sure.)
For comparison's sake, this is what it looked like on Tuesday when I drove home. Quite a difference, huh?? (there was still some residual dust in the air, but this pic is pretty clear overall.)
This is looking off the the west along the same stretch of highway. It looks like there's just nothing out there past that mountain, doesn't it?? This is actually kinda creepy to me, knowing how far (miles and miles) you can usually see out here in the desert.
Here's the view looking west on Tuesday (not the same mountain, I don't think, but you get the idea). This photo isn't much to look at scenery-wise, but it gives you a good idea of the wide-open expanses out here in the desert. You can see mountain ranges upon mountain ranges behind each other out there in the distance- I don't know how far away you can actually see, to tell the truth, but probably at least 40 or 50 miles?? This wide-open expansiveness is definitely one of the things I love most about Arizona; I'm so used to it now that going back to the Midwest feels a bit "closed-in" and claustrophobic to me now! (and I won't even talk about the Midwestern humidity; ick!! although the whole "dry-heat" thing really does make a difference, I swear!! LOL!!)

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