What is a haboob?

While it may sound like a silly word that would make your mother blush, "haboob" is an Arabic word that means "drifting" or "blasting."

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Photo by Artin Bakhan on Unsplash
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In English, we define haboob as a dust storm.

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How do you pronounce haboob?

It sounds exactly as it spells! The 'a' in haboob is short, and the double 'o' makes the long 'o' sound.

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Photo by Elia Pellegrini on Unsplash
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Where do haboobs most commonly occur?

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Haboos are most frequently found in the Middle East (hence the Arabic origin of the name), North Africa, North America, and Australia.

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Where in North America are you likely to encounter a haboob?

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The southwest region of the United States is prime haboob territory. Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas are obvious culprits but haboobs happen much closer to home than you may realize.

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Photo by Mike Kiev on Unsplash
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Yes, the Columbia Basin of Washington gets haboobs!

Photo by Nicolas Lobos on Unsplash
Photo by Nicolas Lobos on Unsplash
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"They're called dust storms," you may say. You'd be correct. But the dust storms we see in Tri-Cities, Spokane, and other parts of Eastern Washington are haboobs! Western Idaho can also experience them. Being an "arid" area has its perks.

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Haboobs can be out of this world, too.

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Photo by Brian McMahon on Unsplash
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Mars experiences its own dust storms, just like haboobs on planet Earth.

They don't call Mars our sister planet for no reason. As we learn more about the red planet, we discover that 162 million miles can feel much closer to home.

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