At first sight it might look more familiar to the desert of Saharan Africa, but it is actually a massive dust cloud that engulfed the city of Phoenix disrupting power supply to 9,000 homes and closing the international airport for 20 minutes. Known as a ‘haboob’ which in Arabic means strong wind, the storm’s dust cloud was travelling at a speed of 35mph and was around 2,000 feet tall.
Also known as the granddaddy of dust storms, the rare event of haboob takes place by loose dust being blown upward in the absence of rain and collecting skywards when they are actually propelled by another distant storm brewing behind it.
Even though the usage of the term ‘haboob’ has been objected by people, meteorologists claim that they have used the term to describe the massive dust storms for over 30 years.
These dust storms are particularly destructive because of the fine dust particles that permeate everything during the storm.