Phoenix Haboob: Massive Dust Storm Pics Go Viral

By: Amanda Crum - August 27, 2013

A massive haboob, or dust storm, rolled through Arizona on Monday, kicking up debris and sand with winds that hit 60 mph. The event was a pretty big “get” for photographers of all kinds, and several pics of the storm hit Twitter and Instagram soon after.

A dust storm warning was issued as visibility dropped below 1/4 of a mile, but luckily there were no injuries reported. Several trees were uprooted, however. The eerie images captured by locals have since gone viral.

This is the second big dust storm for the area since last month, and now residents are dealing with the aftermath; after the dust came a rain shower, which caused flash flooding in some parts of Arizona.

The word haboob is Arabic, and translates to “strong wind”.

Image: @mcmurraymatt on Twitter

About the Author

Amanda CrumAmanda Crum is a writer and artist from Kentucky. She's a fan of Edward Gorey, Hunter S. Thompson, and horror movies. You can follow her on Google:+Amanda Crum

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  • Robert Jones

    When I saw “Phoenix Haboob” at a glance I first thought some Hollywood star had just named their baby that.

    • Wonderwoman

      Why don’t we ditch “Haboob” and call it what it is – a DUST STORM! For gosh sake, bowing to a stupid arabic name? No way! I have never heard this stupid word – haboob – until this year. IT IS A DUST STORM in America. Get it?

      • Wynne

        Well, don’t forget, this is the same state that habitually calls summer rain squalls “monsoons.” They need to go to southeast Asia or India or Indonesia and see what a “monsoon” really is.

      • lydia

        it isn’t an Arabic name, its a native American name.

        • Wonderwoman

          Nope, you’re wrong, Lydia – it’s arabic.

  • kathleen h

    Incredible shots!! Would not want to live there though! What a mess they must leave and don’t air conditioners and car filters get blocked? Can’t imagine having to breathe that even after it has passed!

    • Jane

      A/C’s and filters do not get blocked. The air at ground level isn’t as congested as it appears…it clears quickly. But, you can smell “soil” in the air for awhile.

  • nana52

    Hmm. I live in Arizona, you get use to the words we use for different weather events. Monsoon? ya it rains a bunch in (less than an inch in an hour) moving past fairly fast, Tons of Awesome lighting, Then there is the “Verga” that is the rain that evaporates before it hits the ground. The three story buildings get a bit, but it does not hit the ground. So a Haboob that hits you while your standing waiting for a bus is like a sandblast facial. Not recommended. I have seen other “dust storms” this Haboob is about 10x bigger and faster. So it can have a Name of its own.

  • Marri

    Lived in Mesa for 10 years and we saw 2 or 3 in that time. They seem to be coming more frequently and are much bigger. I wonder what’s causing the increase? Live in Florida now and deal with hurricanes, but they haven’t been that bad the last few years.

  • lalala

    I don’t know why the national news makes such a big deal out of these – PEOPLE THEY HAPPEN EVERY SUMMER – several times each summer!

    I saw on Fox News cable channel today the news guy showing pics of this and he said “these have been happening the last several years out there” !
    WRONG! These have been happening since Jeebus was a boy!


    – – – Phoenix Desert Rat