A Haboob Eats Up the City of Phoenix (Again)
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A Haboob Eats Up the City of Phoenix (Again)

The haboob has not only eaten up the city of Phoenix once this summer but actually three to four times that I know of, excluding the one that hit the valley today. It seems to have an insatiable appetite as it spreads clear across the valley swallowing up the homes and businesses...

A what? What is it you might ask. A haboob is one gigantic dust storm that brings impending dangers to the valley. Take a look at what Wikipedia has to say about the haboob: "A haboob (Arabic:"?????", "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.[1] The arid and semiarid regions of North America – in fact, any dryland region – may experience haboobs. In the USA, they are frequently observed in the deserts of Arizona, including Yuma and Phoenix,[2][3] as well as New Mexico and Texas.[4]"

Like some unknown monster, the haboob is not picky when it comes to feeding itself. It brings extreme dangers as it satiates its healthy appetite.

Stop driving your car.

If you have ended up in a haboob because you were driving, here are some healthy hints from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT):

  • NEVER stop in the middle of the road
  • Pull of the road and TURN OFF your lights
  • Run over tumbleweeds. They can't hurt your car.
  • If pulled over, activate emergency brake and remove foot off of brake pedal

If you're driving, your vision will be limited to the point of not being able to see. The dust storm of July 5, 2011 was 50 miles wide. You couldn't see any further than your nose (or your car's nose).

Stay indoors.

Especially if you are sensitive to allergens like dust, you will want to stay indoors as much as possible. Why? It is because there is lots and lots of DUST. In addition, with as many haboobs as we've seen this summer (another one today as I write this), Valley Fever is sure to be on the increase. If you're in an area where there has been a recent dust storm, make sure to change your air conditioning filter as soon as possible.

Hold on to your hat!

While the winds for the Phoenix haboob of July 5th had winds that were thought to be about 60 miles per hour (mph), winds can get up to 100 mph. That amount of wind can topple power poles or snap them in half like sticks, throw semis over on their sides, cause extensive property damage and uproot trees.

No matter whether you just call it a huge dust storm or a haboob, the reality is clear. They are nasty and sometimes are deadly. Enough already!

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