Let’s Talk “HABOOB” People…

Image courtesy of Daniel Bryant

The response to yesterday’s Holy Haboob! post made me shout, “HOLY HABOOB!” Of course, we did have some folks asking why we used the term “haboob” to describe Tuesday’s massive dust storm… in truth, I don’t know. That is, I know why I used it, but I had never heard of the word until everyone started making a big hubbub about the big haboob.

Well, this morning, I decided to try and find out when this word made it into our everyday vernacular… like “monsoon” or “TARP”… Turns out, the word isn’t just made-up slang… it’s actually a word used by meteorologists to describe these types of weather events — although, I will say I think it’s on the verge of becoming overused by some media types.

Check out what Weather.com has to say about haboob:

Haboobs are dust storms caused by strong winds flowing downward and outward from thunderstorms, kicking up dust in dry desert areas. According to our Severe Weather Expert Dr. Greg Forbes, upward motion on the leading edge of the gusty winds and turbulent motions within the strong winds stirs up the dust into a layer several thousand feet thick. This then creates images of huge walls of dust in the southwestern United States (particularly Arizona), like the one below.

The word comes from another part of the world where dust storms are common, the Middle East and northern Africa. According to the American Meteorological Society glossary, the term is derived from the Arabic word habb, which means wind.

There ya go… Hello HABOOB. Sayonara dust storms. For more on our haboob, take a look at the slideshow below… A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who submitted images!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

17 Comments

Filed under Et Cetera, Inside Scoop, Mother Nature, Photography

17 responses to “Let’s Talk “HABOOB” People…

  1. Some pretty amazing shots! Glad you got more!

  2. Pingback: Holy Haboob! | Arizona Highways

  3. Wow! Absolutely amazing photos!!

  4. Les Marriage

    Such a beautiful city getting hit by this mess.

  5. abluv

    It’s amazing how something so messy can show up so beautiful in photos! How is that possible? We can learn a lesson from this: there is something good in even the most awful situation if you look at it the right way…

  6. I was walking my dogs in a local park the day after the haboob & some fellow I’ve spoken w/ a few times asked if i had heard about the dust storm in Phoenix. When I said that I had not, he told me: “yes, they’re trying to keep it quiet. It’s another trial and tribulation.” So I’m guessing he means (because I did NOT question him extensively. Nope.) that it’s another signal that the end of days are near. Yikes! Wonderful pictures.

  7. Amazing pictures – must have been frightening to experience that…

  8. Stunning photos. But I would hate to be in one of those things. Looks like it can eat the house whole.

  9. Kathy

    I was in it. It rolled over the mountain behind my home and I, like all my neighbors, took pictures and posted them via facebook. Dust storms are a common part of monsoon. It doesn’t scare any of us unless we are driving and have no visability. That’s when they can become dangerous. I can’t recall any incidents happening that day. They aren’t that scary, just fascinating. Although common this was probably the biggest I’ve ever seen after living in Arizona my entire 58 years of life.

  10. Good photos, i am a surface weather reporter in Canada, and i have rarely heard the term used “Haboob” what ? Keep alert and watch for the Haboob? well, i am so far north, very little dust here 🙂 nice photo, my internet buddy lives in Phoenix, and says , everything is dusted good, he doug out , like we do in Canada after a good snow blowing storm, .

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