Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Dust Storm Hits Phoenix

A "haboob" or dust storm moves from the suburb of Tempe to downtown Phoenix Thursday. To get an idea of how big the dust cloud was, check out the buildings in the lower right corner. Those are 30 - 50 stories tall.  
A haboob (Arabic for "strong wind") is a type of intense duststorm commonly observed in arid regions throughout the world. They have been observed in the Sahara desert, the Arabian Peninsula, throughout Kuwait, and most arid regions of Iraq. In the USA, they are frequently observed in the deserts of Arizona, including Yuma and Phoenix, as well as New Mexico and Texas. "Haboob" has been widely used to describe dust storms for more than a generation In Arizona but this year the very word "haboob" has become a political football because some conservatives have lobbied against use of the word, favoring English words, like "dust storm." Personally, I think haboob has a nice ring to it. 
There are more photos of the habob in my archive or available from ZUMA Press