Lubbock got hit by a haboob on Monday. For those of you who don’t know what a haboob is, and until Monday, I was one of them, a haboob is a meteorological term. It derives from Arabic and basically means “dust cloud.” Those of you who live in the desert have probably seen something like this before.
My son and I had gone to eat because my wife was still recovering from her bout with the stomach plague. I’d noticed dust off to the northwest, but the wind had been blowing strong all day and mild dust storms aren’t uncommon here. I think the sky was brown in June almost as much as it was blue. Anyway, I was more concerned with paying attention to traffic rather than the sky at that hour of the day.
When we got to the place we were going to eat, I got out of the car, looked to the northeast, and here’s what I saw:
The view to the west a minute or so after I took that picture looked like this:
By this time, the wind was picking up (that’s a relative term, it was already blowing hard.) When I turned back to the northeast, this is what it looked like:
Those are the same houses whose tops are visible at the bottom of the first picture.
Needless to say, we hurried inside. Within a minute, it was dark. I mean, streetlights are on, visibilities is on the order of meters, not tens of meters, meters.
Here’s the last photo I took:
The shrubs are on the far side of a six lane street. When visibility was at its worst, I couldn’t see shrubs. The only lights visible on the far side of the street were the street lights along the road, and they were just dim glows.
This isn’t typical weather. If these photos remind you of the Dust Bowl, they should. Similar conditions existed then.
To see more of the attack of the haboob, here’s a YouTube video: