A haboob is a type of intense dust storm carried on an atmospheric gravity current, also known as a weather front. This gravity current in the atmosphere is the front of an outflow of cold air from a thunderstorm. Haboobs occur regularly in dry land area regions throughout the world, however they only happen in Arizona, the Sahara desert and parts of the Middle East because of dry conditions and large amounts of sand. The Phoenix sand was blasting everything in its path as it drifted toward me driven by a violent and oppressive wind, bringing in all the desert sand. A giant wall of dust rolled through, that turned the sky brown, creating dangerous driving conditions and delaying some airline flights. The National Weather Service meteorologists issued a warning saying that a powerful thunderstorm packing winds of up to 60 mph could hit and push the dust storm toward densely populated areas, so I grabbed my mask to take with me.
I knew that I would have to shield myself from flying objects, protect my eyes, look for shelter, get to high ground and somehow wait out the storm. When I saw all the dust heading straight for me, I put the mask over my nose and mouth. Cars and trucks literally disappeared from the usually well-trafficked Interstate highway, as the dust was whipped up. I saw several downed poles and I knew that many customers would be without electricity in Phoenix. A dust devil formed, and the whirlwind ripped the roof off of a building. Pollution levels skyrocketed during the dust storm and this created even more breathing problems for people that were already suffering from asthma and other similar conditions.
Written for July Monthly Writing Prompts – Phoenix sand.