Newsplex - Blogs - Weather

What's a Haboob?

You'll never see one in Charlottesville, but parts of the country experience haboobs with regularity. They can stop folks in their tracks and temporarily cripple major cities.

At this point, you may have very well seen the incredible and almost apocalyptic video from the Phoenix metropolitan area on Tuesday evening. Did you know you were actually witnessing a haboob? If you haven't heard the term before, you're probably not alone. The video showed a cloud of dust that was in excess of 50 miles wide and stretched nearly a mile into the sky. As scary as these sights may seem to us here in Virginia, haboobs are rather common in the desert southwest. Here's a quick description of how they are formed...

Strong winds coming out of thunderstorms rush down towards the ground. These strong gusts of wind spread outward as they hit the ground and pick up large amounts of dust. The desert southwest has been exceptionally dry as of late, so this allowed the winds to pick up even more dust and sand. The mound of dust and sand continues to grow as it sweeps across the land and it can travel great distances. Winds within this cloud of sand and dust can approach hurricane force, with gusts of 70-80 mph not out of the question. In addition to the extremely gusty winds, the visibility within a haboob can drop to near zero, virtually halting travel. The haboob on Tuesday struck a major city, at a busy time of day further complicating travel issues.

We'll never have to deal with these storms here in Virginia, but they'll continue to strike deserts around the world for decades and centuries to come!

Brantley

Read More Blogs

The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
     
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
     
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.

 

powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability