In 1971, a group of scientists witnessed an Arizona dust storm so large that castle proposed calling that a haboob, the term offered for the notorious dust storms in Sudan.

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Those civilization were no outsiders; they to be Arizona scientists.

Their article, "An American Haboob," was printed in the October 1972 problem of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. It argued that the dust storms in Phoenix were comparable to those roughly Sudan"s capital, Khartoum.

"Although lot less frequent than the Sudanese haboobs," the post said, "they room equally together dramatic."

The dust storms formed, the article said, through a collection of storm cells the intensify together they relocate from the Santa Cruz Valley into Phoenix. The Arizona weather cells room so close to one an additional that they "merge in what appears to be a solid wall of dust, reported by aircraft to extend upward come 8,000 feet."



The write-up was created by Sherwood Idso, Robert Ingram and J.M. Pritchard. Idso was v the U.S. Water Conservation laboratory in Phoenix. Ingram was the head meteorologist v the nationwide Weather Service. Pritchard"s title can not it is in determined.

The write-up contained a detailed study the a dust storm ~ above July 16, 1971, speak it shown "classic haboob characteristics."

Wind speed, a climb in humidity and a autumn in air temperature all were in line through what one would mean from a dust storm in Sudan, the write-up said. The Arizona storm lasted about 48 minutes, and also pilots reported the dust cloud reaching 8,000 feet.


"Thus, the would appear from all of the gathered evidence the the Arizona dust storm that 16 July 1971 to be as good an example of a true haboob as those that occur in the Sudan," the article said.

About fifty percent of the dust storms that pass through Phoenix qualify as haboobs, the write-up said, citing data and "the personal knowledge of weather observers who have actually been stationed right here for several years."


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Not the first Arabic term because that Arizona

"Haboob" was the second Arabic hatchet Robert Ingram introduced to describe Arizona weather. Follow to Ingram"s son, additionally named Robert, the meteorologist introduced "monsoon" come the state, convincing Channel 12"s then-weatherman, candid Peddie, to combine it in forecasts in the 1950s.

Ingram additionally came up v the then-marker that the Arizona monsoon season"s start: three consecutive days through a dew point over 55 degrees. The start of the monsoon has since been changed to June 15, regardless of air conditions.

Although "monsoon" recorded on in the 1950s, "haboob" didn"t record on in the 1970s.


Dewey Hopper, that was Channel 12"s weatherman native 1973 to 1984, said in an email that the remembers using "haboob" on the wait after learning the word from an Arabic friend.

Hopper provided "haboob" on the air partly for a giggle. ~ he stated it, his co-anchor, Linda Alvarez, "just about fell off she chair," the wrote.

"I figured if they could contact our seasonal storms "monsoons" — Arabic because that seasonal wind," that wrote, "then I can use the Arabic word because that dust storm."


A survey that The Republic"s microfiche archives showed around two dozen provides of "haboob" throughout the 1970s and also 1980s. Yet the ax seemingly had actually a comeback in 1999. A story in July of that year quoted Sean McLaughlin, climate the meteorologist because that Channel 12 (KPNX), utilizing "haboob" to explain an massive dust storm.

McLaughlin, now a news anchor for Channel 5 (KPHO), stated he didn"t remember using the term. He remembers forecasters on other stations making use of it, including his predecessor in ~ Channel 12, bill Austin. McLaughlin claimed he learned words from "textbooks together I was researching weather."

The term was in typical enough consumption that, in 2000, it to be on a perform of words that entrants in a Republic-sponsored contest had to usage in a poem.


In 2005, the winning hot-weather limerick, together judged through columnist Clay Thompson, featured "haboob" in its opened line. Joe Orlando that Mesa created this win limerick:

The haboob blows through here each year.

I watch it v loathing and also fear.

Not wind, rain or lightning

Is what I find frightening.

I hate obtaining dust in my beer.

Idso, who ended up being head of the Tempe-based center for the examine of Carbon Dioxide and an international Change, said that although he was among the very first to apply the ax "haboob," he doesn"t say it much.

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"I hardly ever before use the myself," he composed in an email, "preferring just to to speak "dust storm," i m sorry is clearly more descriptive the the phenomenon."

Haboob arrives together Phoenix weather term

In July 2011, the city to be enveloped by a massive wall of dust. Weather world on television dubbed it a "haboob" and also there to be a lingering conflict over whether that was the appropriate term.

One human from Gilbert, in a letter come the editor, stated that it to be improper to usage that Arabic term. "While other nations in the civilization may contact them that, this is the joined States," the letter read. "Even more, this is Arizona, not some center Eastern nation."