July 05, 2011

haboob, or holy crap!

the monsoon season is finally in full swing here in AZ! That's good, for the rain factor, and good, if you like extreme weather, but bad if you have to be in the middle of it. This evening, shortly after dinner, Tom said, "hey, come out here and look at this!" So, I did: "This" was a massive dust storm that we could see coming from miles away-- it was pretty impressive to watch, so we did watch it, for maybe, 10-15 minutes or so... it's kinda strange, to see something like this coming, and not know when exactly it will hit.
fyi, the photo above was edited in Picasa a bit to play up the shadows, so you can see the waves of dust coming through the storm front. A dust storm like this is called a "haboob" which is an Arabic word that is a type of intense duststorm. Find out more about them in the Phoenix area here: ADOT information page. (once you're on that page, click on the Gallery link for some pretty stunning aerial photographs.)
a few minutes after this, it was pretty much time to go inside-- right after this, the wind hit with a vengeance, and we had to duck for cover! The weather channel had an alert, saying the storm was moving 20-40 miles per hour, with gusts over 65 miles per hour-- crazy!
the screen above was during the Weather Channel's weather alert: what I thought was funny is the "visibility 0.1 mile, ceiling 0 feet" note there. Yup, I agree!! Pretty scary, for the half-hour or so that it took to blow through!! Tom said this is the worst one he remembers since he lived in Tucson when he was little... while it was memorable, I'm definitely not looking forward to being in the middle of another one of these anytime soon!

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