What in the Wild, Wild World of Weather: Haboob

By Shelly Sites

It TMs a funny name for a not-so-funny weather event.

A haboob is a very intense sand storm that significantly reduces visibilities, and can also be accompanied by some rain. Not only are these storms potentially dangerous, but they will also wreak havoc on that car you just had washed, thanks to that muddy rain.

Haboobs most often occur in dry/arid climates, but can and do occasionally occur here in the Texas Panhandle! These sandstorms are often the result of outflow winds that are pushed out ahead of a squall line, or a line of storms that develop along a cold front, or a dryline.Jose Garcia, of the Amarillo National Weather Service added, Outside the obvious, we TMre looking at something that doesn TMt happen as often as they used to in the dust bowl days. In periods of drought however, this type of even can occur and create treacherous traveling conditions.

I realize this is definitely not the most interesting weather phenomenon covered by my What in the Wild, Wild World of Weather, series, but it does have an interesting, eye-catching name! According to Wikipedia, the word haboob comes from the Arabic word for, "strong wind or 'phenomenon'."

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