Tips and Quips

Lightning, thunder, and haboob; OH MY

August 20, 2014

Gracious great balls of lightning and thunder, we certainly are encountering colorful clamor in our Coachella Valley weather.  Monday’s dust fall-out from some distant windstorm was just enough to provide a most lovely back-ground (pun intended) for Wednesday morning’s rainfall, really making a mess of cars and patios.  I reckon there must have been a hellacious haboob somewhere to create all that incredible mass of dust in the clouds.  “Haboob?” you ask.  “Yes, HABOOB!” I tell you.   Ever since I came across that word, I have been dying to use it.   Lucky for me, I have my chance this week.  Haboob is a word that originated in the Sudan of the Sahara desert where intense, blasting dust storms occur.  They are not limited to Africa but are seen in any arid and semiarid region, including those in North America.  Arizona experiences haboobs with some frequency, as does the Coachella Valley.   It is a funny sounding little word, although there is nothing humorous about the actual haboob.  Haboob winds vary between 22 and 62 mph and the associated wall of dust can be up to 60+ miles wide and several  miles in elevation.  Sadly but surely, there will be additional opportunities to use haboob in future Coachella Valley weather discussions.

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