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Local Winds

Local winds blow from high to low pressure regions; these include land and sea breezes, mountain breezes, and others.

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Credit: Junebug172
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Haboob2.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Haboob comes from the Arabic word for “strong wind.”  Although the name is funny, haboobs are no joke. On average, five people are killed each year in haboobs in Arizona.

Amazing But True!

Credit: Ahodges7
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Haboob,_Taji,_Iraq,_2006.JPG
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Haboob in Taji, Iraq (2006) [Figure2]

  • Haboob winds blow up to 30 mph (48 kph). Dust rises high in the air.
  • Haboobs come on fast and can last for up to three hours, but blow over a single area much more quickly.
  • On had July 5, 2011 Phoenix had a haboob for the record books. It created a 100-mile-long (161 km) wall of dust, which rose up to 5,000 feet (1,500 m) high. It travelled between Tucson and Phoenix, which lie between 150 and 200 miles (240 to 320 km) apart, at speeds of up to 50 mph (80 kph).

Can You Apply It?

With the links below, learn more about haboobs. Then answer the following questions.

  1. Which are the characteristics found in a region that is prone to having haboobs?
  2. What causes a haboob to form?
  3. How does the dust enter the storm?
  4. What is some of the damage to machinery that can happen in a haboob?
  5. What are the dangers to a person who is caught in a haboob?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Junebug172; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Haboob2.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Ahodges7; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Haboob,_Taji,_Iraq,_2006.JPG; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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