The Desert's Version of Severe Weather Warning: The Haboob

Mortgage and Lending with SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) NMLS 223495

Dust Storm Sunset: Mike in Tucson, AZ mortgage lender

~ Dust Storm Sunset at Saguaro National Park TMD~

Lowering the flag at Saguaro National Park TMD: Mike in Tucson, AZ mortgage lenderThey're called Haboobs ~ rolling dust storms that suck the dirt from the face of the earth, throw it high into the atmosphere, and move it miles away before dropping it back down again.

We're not talking a dust devil or two.  A haboob can move hundreds of tons of earth, and when it rolls over you, the sky becomes black as night.

I took the photo on the right last Friday afternoon at 5:00 pm, the end of the day for Saguaro National Park's Red Hills Visitor Center.  You can see that the wind was whipping the flag as we lowered it.

Fifteen minutes later, I took the photo above.  I had no problem pointing my camera straight into the sun.

Remember seeing cowboys in the old western movies carrying bandanas?  They're still a western fashion accessory.  Bandanas served a utilitarian purpose when a cowboy was caught out in the open in a dust storm--they made it possible to breathe.

There's a stretch of Interstate 10 just north of Tucson near Picacho Peak where the open desert stretches for miles to the west.  Other places have tornado warnings and severe weather warnings.  We have dust storm warnings, and the visibility can go from severe clear to zero in a matter of minutes when one of these storms rolls across the desert.  Here's one recent story from last month:

Fatal accident closes I-10 at Picacho


I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson Arizona Mortgage Lender

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Comments (8)

William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX



Nov 06, 2011 03:17 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Nature does strange things and sometimes those distructive storms can make some awesome photo opportunities.  Love the shot.

Nov 06, 2011 03:24 PM
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate - Tucson, AZ

GOOD MORNING MIKE!  Heard about the Haboob and stayed off the freeways this weekend!  (PS - I did it!)

Nov 07, 2011 12:39 AM
Teral McDowell
Referral Patners LLC - Murphy, TX

Cool pic; wouldn't want to be in that storm with or without a bandana.

Nov 07, 2011 03:49 AM
Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc
Benchmark Realty LLc - Nashville, TN

Mike - I guess that you can expect that when vegetation doesn't cover all the dirt. That's an impressive picture.

Nov 07, 2011 01:55 PM
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Mike, I experienced something like this called a Blue Norther when I was in Texas. It is a stunning experience trying to breath through the dust. 

Nov 07, 2011 02:01 PM
Michael Thornton
RadnorLake Video - Nashville, TN
Nashville Area - Photography & Videography

Good morning, Mike. Can't say that I have experienced one of these. Pretty interesting tho...

Nov 08, 2011 12:07 AM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

You always provide us with the most amazing photos! Thanks for sharing and stay warm this weekend!!!

Nov 12, 2011 02:00 AM