Arizona Haboob

What You Should Know About the Arizona Haboob

The Arizona Haboob is a Meterological Phenomena

Arizona Haboob

Seeing your first Arizona haboob can be a lifetime event. A haboob is a huge dust storm created from the airflow of a thunderstorm or intense shower. The winds driving the haboob will reach 30 miles per hour and blow dust up to 10,000 feet into the air.

Arizona haboobs occur during the summer monsoon season from July to mid-September. Along with Arizona, haboobs occur in New Mexico and western Texas.

The term “haboob” is from the Arabic language and means blown. A strong Arizona haboob can last for a few hours and travel over 100 miles. The winds moving a haboob can reach 50 mph and cause severe damage and power outages. Motorists should be aware of the possibility of a haboob and avoid driving in them.

Visibility is likely to be zero as the wall of dust overtakes vehicles. If you are driving and caught in a haboob, you should pull off to the right of the road. Turn off the engine and lights and keep your foot off the brakes. Wait it out until the visibility improves.

The greater Phoenix metro area is well known for haboobs. On July 5, 2011, one of the largest Arizona haboobs ever observed ocurred. The Phoenix haboob rose over 5,000 feet high. A wall of dust covered the entire Phoenix area from Apache Junction to Goodyear.

What creates an Arizona haboob?

Summer monsoons bring strong winds and concentrate down poors. As the monsoon thunderstorms collapse, they can create high outflow winds. The outflow winds cause gust fronts to form. The gust front picks up massive amounts of dust and sand which move up into the atmosphere.

Here is a great youtube video explaining how an Arizona haboob develops.

Haboobs are common during the summer in the southwestern states. Summer thunderstorms create conditions that will spawn a haboob. The monsoons in Tucson create strong winds and heavy rain, but the winds do not have enough room to create a haboob.

Phoenix has 1 to 3 Arizona haboobs every year. Haboobs are also prevalent in Casa Grande, AZ, about 40 miles south of Phoenix. See the Fox News video of the Phoenix Haboob. Be Patient, it takes a few seconds to load.

Looking for a home in Arizona without the likelihood of a haboob? Tucson is the place! The mountain ranges surround the Tucson and create a natural wall that stop the winds. Tucson has not experienced the Arizona haboobs.

So if you are considering Arizona as a place to retire or that perfect winter retreat, put Tucson on the top of your list.


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