Arizona dust storms becoming more frequent say experts

August 1, 2012 ARIZONA - Once considered to be once-in-100-year events, giant dust storms are pounding the U.S. state of Arizona. In a summer of excessive heat and extreme drought, this is not good news. Since June, five dust storms have plagued Arizona’s famous valley area. On July 29, Phoenix looked more like Saharan Africa than the well-manicured American Southwest. A massive dust cloud, referred to as a haboob—an Arabic word meaning strong wind—blanketed the metropolitan area. The cloud was 2,000 feet tall and nearly 60 miles wide. Although not the largest dust storm to hit the area, tree limbs and power poles were snapped, causing 9,000 homes to lose power. The Sky Harbor Airport was shut down for 20 minutes. These huge dust storms form during the monsoon season that runs from June until the end of September. They are so destructive because of the fine dust particles that manage to permeate everywhere during the storm. According to experts, these storms are becoming more frequent. It is not just the big storms that pose problems. Phoenix experienced three dust storms in a row the last week of July—which is considered very rare. USA Today stated: “This means more deadly accidents, more harmful pollution and more health problems for people breathing in the irritating dust particles.” The potential health threats from the storms are far more serious than just breathing in irritating dust particles. The fine dust can carry a poisonous mix of fungi, heavy metals from pollution, fertilizers, stockyard fecal matter, chemicals and bacteria, which can cause cardiovascular disease, eye diseases and other illnesses, such as valley fever. Valley fever, caused by the Coccidioides fungus present in desert soil, can be fatal. Valley fever is contracted when desert soil is thrown into the air and breathed in. Arizona has 70 percent of the valley fever cases reported nationally. The cases of valley fever in Arizona were up by 36 percent in Arizona between 2010 and 2011. It was in July 2011 that the largest dust storm ever observed hit the Phoenix area. Medical experts believe that the advance of the huge dust storms in 2011 could be one of the causes for the increase in cases of valley fever. Other dangers associated with these dust storms are the traffic accidents that result from the blinding conditions of the blowing dust. Between the period of 2001 through 2005, dust storms caused 44 deaths in 2,323 traffic accidents in New Mexico and 15 deaths in 614 accidents in Arizona. Experts say that because of excessive heat and dry conditions, residents in Arizona’s valley area can expect more dust storms. –Trumpet
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28 Responses to Arizona dust storms becoming more frequent say experts

  1. James says:

    Signs of the times

  2. nanoduck says:

    Anyone sick of people calling the dust storms in America haboob? This is America not Arabia.

    • Johnny says:

      It’s really not a big deal, unless one is prejudiced against a particular populace. Where’s the big uproar to stop calling a ‘Tsunami’ a ‘Tsunami’? Let’s use another word for ‘Kindergarten’, and let’s just say ‘thin, long noodles with fancy ketchup sauce’ instead of ‘Spaghetti’ :/

      If you’re sick of people using languages other than American English, you should just turn off your TV, unplug your computer, disconnect your telephone, lock your door, turn out the lights, and then you won’t be bothered by it. Otherwise, get over your egotistical fantasy that others should bend to your will, and start treating others with the same respect that you demand of them.

      • nanoduck says:

        Lol. Serious much?

      • nanoduck says:

        Well, we have always called it a dust storm. No need to mix up our language with more foreign words…it is getting confusing, saavy? Anyway, I still think you need more fiber in your diet…perhaps adding prunes to your oatmeal will help? :D

      • Irene C says:

        Well said Johnny. I had said something similar in another post. Also, don’t forget about taco, goulash, and lasagna.

      • Columbine says:

        I prefer “dust storm” because that’s what it is – a storm of dust. I’m tried of trying to explain to everyone what in the world a “haboob” is and getting snickers of laughter. “Dust storm” is descriptive and precise and English (and no I’m not prejudiced against other languages! I’m learning and speaking a second language every day where I live!). I just don’t understand why we suddenly had to start using a new word that no one ever heard of before to describe something that happens every year.

    • jehjeh007 says:

      nanoduck, I don’t think your comment had anything to do with prejudice, it was more like preserving some since of Americana like Route 66. To answer your question, words transition over time and generations. the “haboob” title is a new one which reflects the influx of Arabian culture in the American mainstream, which is cool. Think about it, would you ever called yourself nanoduck 12 years ago? Can you dig it?

      • Besides, we all know that scientists seem drawn to unusual, or what to us are unusual, names for things. Hence pulsars, quasars, quarks, tsunamis (more accurate anyway than “tidal wave”) and haboobs!

  3. Part of the problem with haboobs is that they strike in desert areas where people choose to live. It seems just a little bit strange that so many people would choose to build a major metropolis in an area where you have so little water and where the heat and arid conditions are so extreme. To me, it’s a bit like building a metropolis in the middle of the Gobi Desert, but to each his own…

  4. isis2012 says:

    It would take a powerful thrust impacting the surface to cause such a massive movement of dust. Wind is a movement of air disturbed by some central point. And rather haboobs are a one wall movement of wind OR a circular wall of wind moving in all directions affecting both land and sky or just land. The onset of such massive strong wind of a haboob, is caused by some untold and unseen source. And doesn’t exclude a massive size celestial craft coming in or leaving out in that general area.

  5. Dave H. says:

    I wonder if the people in Arizona needed the “experts” to tell them that.

  6. James says:

    Also is it just me or does that picture make it look like the devil is in the skies of arizona.

  7. Irene C says:

    Definitely not good news for Phoenix.

  8. Gavin Green says:

    yes real experts aren’t they, while most living in these areas know they are becoming more frequent but for some reason we need what someone has called an expert to tell us this, what a joke. If they understood why the US and the world is experiencing unprecendented natural disasters then just maybe i would call them an expert but, i’m afraid they are no different to the fortune tellers that date back to the Pharoah of Egypt (BC) whom believed they new what was going on. Quite obviously they do not but Moses did.

    • Anne says:

      Gavin, some of these disasters are not natural. There’s a Weather War going on between countries that have the Tesla technology. His experiments were never to become instruments of destruction. They were stolen from his files.

  9. Syn Strykiir says:

    love that pic. somebody grabbed that shot at the right moment you see the two white clouds make eyeballs and even has pupils with the dust looking like a sinister jokers face, the blue around the forehead area of that face makes it appear to have a scowling expression… djinn maybe?

  10. Coyote says:

    Phoenix and surrounding areas are ill-suited to the fallout of a grid down stituation, the people there are mostly midwestern snow birds who are in for a serious shock when this becomes even more frequent, I hope people start moving out of there–soon.

    • Anne says:

      Coyote, this may well be the plan. Once Arizona is vacated of the conservative midwesterners, it could be the first State for the Hispanic haven of immigrants – with open borders for one and all. You know, the Amero Union.

  11. Columbine says:

    I find it so strange to actually read people putting the power of God into the hands of our government. GOD is the one who controls nature – not the government. God is the one who sends rain, hail, sleet, snow, sunshine, etc. – not the government or the illuminati, etc. Read the book of Job and ask yourself the questions God asked Job. Why we think our government is so all powerful and sovereign is beyond me.

    • Marilyn says:


    • Well said, Columbine! While it is true that our government is actively researching and trying to develop ever more deadly weapons like viral/bacteriological weapons and even weather control, God is the ultimate weather controller in all cases. It hasn’t been lost on me that the US and parts of Canada are suffering from severe drought and heat, not with the kind of things going on that are. Meteorologists call these things haboobs, and while science may be able to explain the how of things they deny the why. Science only describes the mechanics of how God makes things work.

  12. Rich says:

    strange…I have lived here 34 years and these storms happen every year. actually there used to be more of them and much more wind and dust. why is everyone tripping out about our dust storms, its the Sonoran desert, millions of acres of dirt+wind and monsoon cold hot air mixing = massive billowing walls of dust. it has always been this way. I am sure the moderator will not post this though since he or she will not like the fact that the entire basis of this article is false and I am pointing it out.

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