At about 7:15 pm on July 5th I was walking in a parking lot to get to my car. I saw a massive wall of dust approaching from the South. It’s difficult to describe what an approaching Haboob looks like until you have seen one, and I have many times. This one looked particularly ominous.
The best advice is to get inside a building if you see a dust storm approaching or to get off the road ASAP, but most people who are driving cars never see it coming before it’s too late to avoid. Many tragic traffic fatalities have been caused by dust storms so the danger should never be underestimated.
Naturally I decided to see if I could beat the storm by getting to my house before the storm hit me. I wasn't about to let a mere dust storm inconvenience me! I headed from West to East, while the storm was headed from South to North.
Racing the storm proved to be a losing proposition. Without warning the tranquil early evening daylight turned dark as walls of dust completely blocked all sunlight. Driving home was an ordeal because visibility was about 20 feet. Fortunately the other drivers were cautious instead of stupid, so we slowly drove to our destinations. It’s not unlike driving in a heavy fog as far as visibility is concerned, but there is a possibility of blowing debris like tumbleweeds and trash — and sometimes branches from trees.
One of the odd things about Arizona Haboobs is that the wind isn’t extremely strong even though the air is filled with dust. They usually last 10 or 15 minutes but this one lasted a more than an hour.
Various theories are circulating on what caused this one. Predictably liberals are blaming global warming. Dust is worse during droughts so climate change proponents theorize that the Haboob was caused by global warming. Meterologists explain that the Haboobs are a result of thunderstorms that generate huge downbursts of wind that cause the dust to be swept off the parched ground.
The most plausible theory [VDARE.com note: See the headline here.] I have heard so far to explain the awful dust storm is that the dust was kicked up when a stampede of illegal aliens charged over the border. Wind gusts were exacerbated by hand-held battery-operated fans that were donated to the illegals to give them relief from the desert heat. Most likely the fans were given to the illegals by the same organizations that put water stations in the desert so that they don't get thirsty.
Postmortem — everything outside has a layer of dust on it — even the leaves of the plants. Hopefully we will get some monsoon rains soon so that everything can get rinsed off.