What is a haboob and why is it chasing us?

Massive dust storm descends on Phoenix area
Monsoon season is usually one of my favorite times of the year.  Sure it’s hot, but every afternoon the clouds build up over the mountains and bring a refreshing thunderstorm to the parched desert.  That was our experience while living in Vail (Southeast Tucson).  
 Living in Phoenix is proving to be a little different when it comes to monsoons.  Yes the storms blow in, but we get mostly dust and very little rain. 

The last few nights have treated us to beautiful sunsets due to giant storm clouds bringing a little wind but nothing else.  Then last night the haboob moved in.
As we were walking out of Target, a large cloud caught our eye.  “Wow, that looks like a huge wall!”  We stood there and gawked until we realized that the wall was moving.  Fast.  Right towards us.  I started to video the cloud rolling in, turning blue sky into black, until Jeff reminded me that I should probably get the kids into the car.  Oh yeah.
Just as we shut the car doors, the cloud was upon us.  Day turned into night.  Joe was asking where in the world the sun went.  Thankfully we were very close to home, so we went ahead and braved one-mile drive.  If we had been anywhere else, we would have been stuck for a while.

I have never seen anything like it.  Everything is covered in dust this morning and the sky is a pale shade of brown.  Apparently this creature’s name is Haboob, and it is trying to get us.  
Welcome to the Phoenix version of Monsoon season.

(I grabbed this video off YouTube to give you a better feel for the haboob)
So, how is your summer weather? 
  • Emily July 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    So crazy! I have lived in Phoenix for 10 years and every time we get a big one like this I am reminded of how fast things can change!

    Last night I was actually in a plane circling Sky Harbor during the storm, but I can't believe the dust everywhere this morning!

    Glad you were so close to home!

  • Alysa July 6, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Emily, we were here one summer about 8 years ago. I remember a storm like last night's but not nearly as huge. Crazy!

  • EA-The Spicy RD July 7, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Crazy! I have never heard of a Haboob before, and I don't think I want to be in one! I miss the afternoon thunder storms we used to get when we lived in Dallas, but I don't miss the heat. We are having such a mice summer so far here in San Diego. Last summer was a different story-very cool and cloudy for almost the entire summer. Hope you get the dust cleared off!

  • Slow Cooker Bison Stew June 22, 2012 at 9:16 am

    […] be heating up the kitchen.  Convinced?  Well trust me, I live in the land of 120 degrees, haboobs, and nighttime scorpion hunts, and I just ate this for 3 days in a row.  It was unbelievably […]