4/20/2013

Dust Devils, Bunnies, and Haboobs

Back East, this time of year is mud season. I bid it a fond farewell 10 years ago.  Mud is rarely an issue here, but it's red and sticky when it does occur. Not good at all.  Spring is the harbinger of dust season in Arizona. There's dust year around, but especially so in March and April. The winds kick up and red grit sifts through cracks and crevices. You'll find it in the house right after you've dusted. If you're an OCD duster--look out. The dust never ends. After a little more than 24 hours of 40-50 mile an hour winds last week which really coated everything with red dirt, it's calmed down to just breezy. While the windstorm was bullying its way across the state, a wall of dirt rose in the air, veiling the mountains to the east of Casa Wallace. 
Haboob near Phoenix

Dust Devil
Larger dust storms or haboobs occur regularly toward Phoenix, especially on the I-10.  They're as dangerous as a blizzard, and maybe more so because people don't know how to drive in such severe conditions here. There have been many multi-vehicle pileups on the I-10 that have cost more than a few lives. Dust causes zero visibility just like snow, so if you see it coming, discretion is called for. Get off at the nearest exit, find a restaurant, and sit a spell. It beats getting creamed in the constant flow of truck traffic.

We most often experience dust devils which are mini tornadoes. They plow through your yard and rearrange patio furniture, garbage cans, and tear your roses apart. I've been caught in a couple and ended up with grit  everywhere. A shower is immediately in order. They're not nearly as powerful as a tornado, but they are a nuisance. Because of the air heating up and the dry conditions, these whirling dirt throwers show up until the monsoons hit. When we actually have some humidity, the devils disappear. 

There are scientific explanations of the weather patterns that cause these wind events, but I won't bore you with the details. The bottom line is that every area has its own ugly weather, and ours involves wind and dust rather than wind and snow. So, I'll keep collecting cushions in the courtyard and putting them back on the patio furniture until rain arrives.

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Positively encouraging

4/20/2013

Dust Devils, Bunnies, and Haboobs

Back East, this time of year is mud season. I bid it a fond farewell 10 years ago.  Mud is rarely an issue here, but it's red and sticky when it does occur. Not good at all.  Spring is the harbinger of dust season in Arizona. There's dust year around, but especially so in March and April. The winds kick up and red grit sifts through cracks and crevices. You'll find it in the house right after you've dusted. If you're an OCD duster--look out. The dust never ends. After a little more than 24 hours of 40-50 mile an hour winds last week which really coated everything with red dirt, it's calmed down to just breezy. While the windstorm was bullying its way across the state, a wall of dirt rose in the air, veiling the mountains to the east of Casa Wallace. 
Haboob near Phoenix

Dust Devil
Larger dust storms or haboobs occur regularly toward Phoenix, especially on the I-10.  They're as dangerous as a blizzard, and maybe more so because people don't know how to drive in such severe conditions here. There have been many multi-vehicle pileups on the I-10 that have cost more than a few lives. Dust causes zero visibility just like snow, so if you see it coming, discretion is called for. Get off at the nearest exit, find a restaurant, and sit a spell. It beats getting creamed in the constant flow of truck traffic.

We most often experience dust devils which are mini tornadoes. They plow through your yard and rearrange patio furniture, garbage cans, and tear your roses apart. I've been caught in a couple and ended up with grit  everywhere. A shower is immediately in order. They're not nearly as powerful as a tornado, but they are a nuisance. Because of the air heating up and the dry conditions, these whirling dirt throwers show up until the monsoons hit. When we actually have some humidity, the devils disappear. 

There are scientific explanations of the weather patterns that cause these wind events, but I won't bore you with the details. The bottom line is that every area has its own ugly weather, and ours involves wind and dust rather than wind and snow. So, I'll keep collecting cushions in the courtyard and putting them back on the patio furniture until rain arrives.

No comments: