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Why the Monsoon Means More Haboobs

9 Jul 2018, 10:28 pm

By now you’ve probably heard us meteorologists talking about the summer monsoon.

A monsoon doesn’t have anything to do with rain. In fact, it’s more about the seasonal shift in wind direction that in turn brings more moisture to a given region.

Here’s a little more on that:

Monsoon Doesn’t Mean Rain

What is a Haboob?

For starters, let’s get this Haboob thing all sorted out.

Every Dust Storm Isn’t a Haboob, but Every Haboob Is a Dust Storm

If you don’t want to click the article and do a little reading. Let me sum this up for you.

A haboob is a dust storm. You know, that wall of dust coming at the camera in all of those cool photos.

The article headline could have read, “Sand Storms” or “Dust Storms” but where’s the fun in that!?

How the Monsoon Causes More Haboobs

Talk about burying the lead!

You see, a haboob needs a thunderstorm in order to form.

All thunderstorms produce strong winds that flow downward and outward from the parent storm. Anywhere else in the country, those winds are relatively uneventful. However, the arid climate changes things for the Southwestern U.S.

All of the sand and dust down on the surface is lifted by that strong outflow. The winds carry the debris into the air– creating that wall of sand or dust!

Pretty simple!

During the summertime monsoon thunderstorms are much more prominent across the desert Southwest. Therefore, haboobs occur more often!

Now check out this awesome time lapse from Phoenix that show this exact thing!

Amazing Storm Timelapse

CHECK THIS OUT! We caught this warned storm that resulted in a haboob in front of this storm. You can see the dust first, then a brief break, followed by rain.

Posted by WeatherNation on Monday, July 9, 2018

This storm knocked out power for almost 75,000 residents in the Phoenix metro.

All Fun Aside

Haboobs can actually be dangerous.

So with more information on how you can stay safe, here’s John Van Pelt:

Are You Prepared for Monsoon Season?

For WeatherNation — Meteorologist Jeremy LaGoo

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