Now it’s dust storms that are caused by “climate change”

When I first saw this photo in news stories today, my first thought was “how long before somebody idiotically links this to global warming aka climate change aka climate disruption” (take your pick)?

Dust storm hits Phoenix, July 5th, 2011 - click image for source

The answer, not long. From The Atlantic we have this pronouncement:

Environmentalists remind us that the conditions that create dust storms can be linked to climate change and poor farming practices. Today, the Earth is twice as dusty as it was in the 19th-century. At least we have YouTube and Twitpic to document the incredibly terrifying consequences?

Here’s some spectacular video of what is called a Haboob in progress yesterday. I find it more interesting than “terrifying”:

I had to laugh when I saw the title of this one.

Doomsday? Really? Dust storms might be an annoyance, and may shut down things we take for granted like air travel and sometimes road travel, but they hardly equate to doomsday. I’ll save that for when the sun goes nova or some crazy political/zealot faction starts setting off nukes.

Seems that dust storms in desert cities aren’t that uncommon, such as this one in Phoenix in 2003:

File:Haboob2.jpg

Haboob blowing into Ahwatukee, Phoenix, Arizona on 22 August 2003. Image from Wikipedia

And more examples:

Monsoon Storm Photo

Dust Storm Rises Over Phoenix on Labor Day, 1972. No Rain Had Fallen in the Area for 153 Days , 06/1972. Dust Storm Picture from Environmental Protection Agency.

From Wikipedia, notable dust storms

  • 1954-1991: The multi-year droughts in portions of North America of 1954-56, 1976–78, and 1987-91 were noted for dust storms of the intensity seen in the middle 1930s over some fraction of their coverage and timespan, and more sporadically during the times between. The three multi-year droughts were similar to the 1930s in storms being raised by synoptic scale weather events such as cyclones and cold fronts; otherwise the most common trigger is the outflow from convective activity, known as a haboob. Significant events of the latter variety occurred in Colorado and Kansas in May 2004 with winds to 100 mph, Minnesota and Wisconsin in June 2004 causing significant damage, and the upper Middle West in May 1988, notable for strong electrification and lightning activity and by one estimate reaching 30 000 ft or more. The first and third of this list reached black blizzard intensity, causing total blackout for some period ranging from 90 sec to 10 or more minutes, over some fraction of the ground covered. The 1987-91 drought was especially notable as in the 1930s for the large number of rain of mud events, often generated by dust in suspension and/or carried on upper-level winds.
  • 1971: A dust storm that occurred near Tucson, Arizona on July 16 was extensively documented by meteorologists.

Dec 1, 1982 – High winds kicked up dust storms from near the California border, to Gila Bend, south of Phoenix. minutes,” said Keith the state’s chief National Weather Service The San Diego Zoo was closed Tuesday for the fifth time in its 66- year history after wind blew down eucalyptus trees.
From Mean Storm Hits Calif., Moves East .

Aug 20, 1999 – A large dust storm moves into the downtown Phoenix area causing 90-minute flight delays at the Sky Harbor International Airport. Wind gusts of up to 45 mph hampered visibility as the dust storm swept through the metro area from the southern portions of Arizona.
From Phoenix gets down and dirty in big dust storm | Deseret News

Yeah, doomsday.

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105 thoughts on “Now it’s dust storms that are caused by “climate change”

  1. The Santa Ana winds occasionally bring dust as far north as San Jose; the last time I recall was in the 90’s, I moved to Texas in 2003. Of course, at the time Climate change never came up in conversations, it was just weather, not a horrifying disaster linked to every ill of mankind, or noted as having similarities to storms on Mars……/sarc.

  2. It’s a good thing William Connolley can not edit Wikipedia lately, he would surely change the definition of “Haboob” and “doomsday” to fit the AGW orthodoxy.

  3. Dust storms in Phoenix were very common during the ’30s. My mother had lots of dust storm stories.

  4. I can do you a doomsday if you like, or explain the one we’ve got at least.

    More dust (twice the 19th C amount) means more silica in the oceans. Diatoms are limited by silica and it is only when they run out of that compound that the calcareous phytos can flourish. Fewer calcareous phytoplankton, less light carbon pull-down*, more light carbon in the atmosphere, hence the false anthropogenic signal.

    Diatoms are not so good at forming di-methyl sulphide, the stuff that makes the aerosols which are brilliant at forming clouds. Fewer clouds, global warming.

    (Please leave the Nobel with the neighbours if we’re out. Thank you.)

    JF
    (Serious students might like to check the results of silica fallout on the oceans by studying the recent North Pacific volcanoes.)

    *Diatoms use crassula acid metabolism to fix their CO2. It is less discriminatory against the heavy C isotopes. If you want to make memorable dolmades, use vine leaves which have been picked at dawn and kept in the dark. CAM uses a malic acid dump during darkness and the result is a pleasing lemon taste.

  5. Obviously someone is out in the Arizona desert trying to revivify a mummy. Anybody have a location for Brendan Fraser?

  6. Anybody said Dust Bowl?
    Ah, that was nothing compared to our times – they had no YouTube then …

  7. If you have a couple acres of highly subsidized solar panels to sweep clean after the dust storm passes, you may call it terrifying. Then you go back inside to your XBox 360 and bong.

  8. Anything can be linked to anything, especially if there’s money in it.

    Why are we surprised that many people believe in “climate change” being the cause of every natural disaster? Their ancestors believed for thousands of years that some omniscient and omnipotent Old Man in the Sky is the cause of everything (including all the catastrophes, diseases, sufferings, tribulations, and evil deeds).

    Stupidity, gullibility, and conformism are obviously genetically inherited traits. One couldn’t be a good slave if he or she wouldn’t believe in what was being told “from above.” Good slaves have been carefully bred since times immemorial. Their descendants are a legion, and they live among us today.

  9. While visually exciting, they are relatively harmless. As long as planes stay in clear air ahead of the gust front, they are harmless to airplanes, and airport operations are only affected for about 1/2 hour.. As kids we liked ‘em, cuz the temperature would drop by twenty degrees from the thunderstorm-cooled air. A few palm trees fall over is about the extent of it, everybody has to dust off everything that is outside.

    If you must, the frequency and strength of these haboobs is a consequence of the strength of the monsoon season, as warm moist unstable air is sucked in from the Gulf of Mexico and then uplifted by the fierce desert heat. If the west winds from California are too strong, the summer rains fail.
    About 15 years ago, the monsoon in Arizona failed. All the moisture got blown to Iowa, which suffered massive mid-summer flooding.

    They typically come from the south, distributing desert alluvial soils to the north.

  10. Damn……. Have to go up on the roof and vacuum off the ^%$^#$@@ solar panels again!

    Dust In The Wind:

  11. That was a MONSTER of a dust storm last night. I live in Mesa (the east side of the Phoenix metro area) and watching it come in was amazing. Visiblity dropped to about 1/10 mile where we were as the dust ‘front’ hit us.

    It sure would have been nice to follow it up with rain ( a few areas I think did, we didn’t . . .)

  12. Seriously? I have lived in Arizona for the last 15 years. I think I’ve seen a dust storm every year, and probably have been in four or five haboob. To me, it would represent a change in climate if they stopped.

  13. What the ice record tells us, seldom talked about, is that dust storms rise in frequency with the cold, the more water tied in ice the more land exposed to violent winds.
    Graph of CO2 (green), reconstructed temperature (blue) and dust (red) from the Vostok ice core for the past 420,000 years.

  14. You made it to a reason.com article………

    The first panel of the conference featured Anthony Watts, proprietor of the popular climate change skeptic blog Watts Up with That?, retired University of Winnipeg geographer Timothy Ball, and Patrick Michaels. Watts is the guy behind the project showing that a surprisingly high number of U.S. weather stations are badly situated. Tim Ball is a self-described long time skeptic of global warming orthodoxy.

    http://reason.com/archives/2011/07/05/luckewarmers-denialists-and-ot

  15. Today, the Earth is twice as dusty as it was in the 19th-century.
    That’s quite the factoid! I guess there must be hockey stick dust chartists and computer dust modellers looking for a steady stream of grants. And think of the poor dust bunny overpopulation problem!
    /sarc

  16. There is a refernce at this site

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haboob

    To this:
    Idso, S.B. 1973. Haboobs in Arizona. Weather 28(4):154-155.

    1973 !

    There is also a photo from 14 April 1935 of a dust cloud near Spearman, TX. I think I remember this one from a US history class in high school.

    We have dust storms in Washington State, big ones in the south central part, and numerous whirling dust devils in the central part along I-90.

  17. Shhhhhh…Greenpeace and the climate alarmists are FUNDRAISING this month…PLEASE don’t destroy a good climate scare story!! Thanks…

  18. But dust storms ARE GOOD! From one of the links in the Atlantic link… They EAT the dreaded CO2!!!!

    Of course, this also means that, because the evil Global Warming inspired dust storm increase has been hiding the actual increase in man made CO2…. There has been MORE CO2 emitted than has been measure…. Which means… It’s worse than we thought!!!!!

  19. Another twig on the fire for boiling the frogs (us). Although is specific to finance/economy it pertains to most anything else these days also: http://www.lewrockwell.com/yates/yates38.html

    Partial quote:
    But there are other ways of changing one kind of socioeconomic system to a fundamentally different kind of system that minimize or localize abrupt, destabilizing change. Gramscian “revolutionaries” have learned this lesson well – although they do not speak the vocabulary of systems theory, of course. They have learned to get what they want by pursuing their goals gradually, one step at a time, through infiltrating and modifying existing institutions and other systems rather than overthrowing them and trying to create new ones from scratch. Clearly, a central-government initiative calling for abolishing the U.S. Constitution would have provoked an armed upheaval at any time in U.S. history, and it is at least possible that anything this abrupt still would. U.S. citizens, that is, would jump out immediately if thrown into that pot of boiling water. But if the haters of Constitutional government proceed in small increments, they eventually gut the Constitution almost unnoticed – particularly if they carry out their initiatives in multiple components of U.S. society (so-called public schools, the banking system, the major news media, the legal system, etc.). Moreover, Gramscians have found that the road to centralization is much easier if “paved with good intentions,” expressed in pseudo-moral language and portrayed as a source of stability to come. Myriad small disruptions in the lives of individuals and local communities can be rationalized as the price to be paid for the utopia just over the horizon. “You can’t make an omelet,” so the saying goes, “without breaking a few eggs.” So systems accommodate and incorporate these small steps, absorbing the disruptions as best they can and not allowing them to threaten the system’s overall stability. But when a system absorbs these small steps instead of repelling them, it incorporates them into its basic functioning and its transformation to a different kind of system with entirely different arrangements between its components has begun. Or in terms of the Boiling Frog Syndrome, the frog is in the pot, and the temperature of the water has begun, very slowly, to rise.

  20. Julian Flood says:
    July 6, 2011 at 11:55 am
    “If you want to make memorable dolmades, use vine leaves . . .

    O dear, I’d better try this before all the vines are gone:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/02/wining-and-climate-change-in-california/

    Seriously, I did not know about the picking of vine leaves at dawn and the lemon taste. High nighttime temps can cause dark grapes to loose color and, I suppose, there is a connection of some sort. So, off to find that old text by Maynard Amerine . . .

  21. Also occur in Oz. My daughter had to flee one whilst picking fruit near Mildura nine or so years ago.

  22. Pretty sure I saw a plane fly through that unscathed on that video, which makes even more of a mockery of the total shutdown of British and European airspace when the Icelandic volcano whose name I shan’t attempt to spell erupted last year

  23. In 1978, when we were at the coolest of the period, I flew from Chicago to Houston, Texas and did not get to see the Houston or anything else until the next day.

    On the way into the area, we flew around two huge dust clouds and one of these or a third descended on Houston as we landed. It must have been global warming lurking in the cool. Who would have guessed?

  24. Yes, it is true, the Earth has twice as much dirt as it had in the 19th century. That is why farming is so much more productive now. Really, it’s true. Just look at how deep the archeological sites are when they find remains from the 19th century.

    And let’s not forget how those dust storms in Iraq during the invasion and occupation wiped out whole divisions. Doomsday indeed. Well, technically, it wiped out the visibility for whole divisions. Details, details.

  25. We should recognize that the weather people on Fox News pointed out that dust clouds and storms are typical weather in the Arizona region, ranging from dust devils to dust storms. Good for them for being honest.

  26. I just started my 20th year in southern Arizona, and the dust storm I had to drive home through in West Phoenix last night was no worse than a half dozen others I’ve experienced since 1991.

    My parents lived through many of them in West Texas in the 40s and 50s, I wonder what caused those …

  27. BigBadBear said: “Pretty sure I saw a plane fly through that unscathed on that video, which makes even more of a mockery of the total shutdown of British and European airspace when the Icelandic volcano ”

    Well, dust is not the same as volcanic dust, which can fuse and coat the blades of the jet engines and either trash their power or shut them down altogether. Normal dust is effectively a bit drier and less destructive.

  28. Alexander Feht says:
    July 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    …………
    “Why are we surprised that many people believe in “climate change” being the cause of every natural disaster? Their ancestors believed for thousands of years that some omniscient and omnipotent Old Man in the Sky is the cause of everything (including all the catastrophes, diseases, sufferings, tribulations, and evil deeds).

    Stupidity, gullibility, and conformism are obviously genetically inherited traits. One couldn’t be a good slave if he or she wouldn’t believe in what was being told “from above.”
    =====================================================================
    I assume you’re including likes of Isaac Newton, John Jay, René Descartes, John Adams and Max Planck in that group people being bred to stupidity and gullibility? Martin Luther being a noted conformist………..

  29. In any event it’s just Mother Nature re-arranging the furniture. No biggie, just another item on the honey-do list. :)

  30. I figured they would link it to AGW, but I was more interested in the pictures. Think about it – just a few years ago (within my lifetime) those pictures would have been rare as hen’s teeth! And most of us would not have been able to appreciate the awesomeness of nature! I want to frame that one and put it along side my satellite of hurricane Floyd (basically taking up the lower half of the east coast).

  31. There is another “doomsday” aspect to these dust storms — valley fever (coccidioidomycosis). It is endemic to the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts and the inland valleys of California. The region between Phoenix and Tucson has particularly high rates of infection (Germany lodged a protest through the Red Cross in WWII because a prisoner of war camp was located at Casa Grande.) The spores travel in the dust, infecting humans and other animals, and inoculating new areas. Valley fever has spread from the southern central valley of California to to previously clean areas well North of Sacramento.because of dust storms. In areas with very high spore concentrations, dust does not need to be visible for you to be at risk, it is highly infective and highly virulent.

  32. Sonicfrog says: July 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm
    “Today, the Earth is twice as dusty as it was in the 19th-century.”
    Really???? REALLY??????????
    ———————————————-
    Didn’t you know that 57.6% of statistics are made up on the spot?

    \ sarc off :)

  33. It is probably all the dust that is reflecting the sun and keeping the temps from rising.

    It all fits now!

    :)

  34. Are there any published research papers on whether forest fires regionally increase the daily mean temperature?

  35. Sonicfrog says:
    July 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm
    “Today, the Earth is twice as dusty as it was in the 19th-century.”

    “Really???? REALLY??????????”

    Didn’t you know? Before 1850, nature was in total balance. There was no dust in the air. Rivers did not overflow their banks. Dogs and cats were friends. Then, through the Industrial Revolution, man acquired the ability to wreak havoc on nature. Today there are dust storms and all of them are caused by human activity./sarc

    When is someone going to publish the Green Book of Genesis? I would really like to know about the total harmony that existed before 1850. Reading about it in drips and drabs is not enlightening.

    By the way, if you are someone who actually works the land, dust storms are of no interest to you whatsoever. What interests you is where the dust came from. Of course, answering that question is always a matter of addressing local conditions. Warmista are not interested.

  36. Growing up in Karachi, Pakistan, which is on the southern edge of a desert, we looked forward to dust storms because they were always followed by cooler temperatures and rain. I wonder whether the same phenomena occurs in Arizona.

  37. MJ says:
    July 6, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Seriously? I have lived in Arizona for the last 15 years. I think I’ve seen a dust storm every year, and probably have been in four or five haboob. To me, it would represent a change in climate if they stopped.

    Or to put it another way, why all the hubbub over a haboob?

  38. Luther Wu says (July 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm): “Haboob. There’s a joke in there, somewhere.”

    Q: What’s the plural of “haboob”?

    A: The IPCC.

    Yeah, yeah, back to the drawing board…

  39. Somebody help me out here — when has the climate not changed?

    Heck, I thought the climate is supposed to change. But obviously it’s not, or else it wouldn’t be such a big deal.

  40. Mustafa says:
    July 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Growing up in Karachi, Pakistan, which is on the southern edge of a desert, we looked forward to dust storms because they were always followed by cooler temperatures and rain. I wonder whether the same phenomena occurs in Arizona.

    It varies from place to place, especially if it’s a large dust storm. For example, following yesterday’s dust storm some places got downpours while other places didn’t get a drop. Where I live in Scottsdale, we got just enough rain to turn the dust into reddish mud that quickly dried on to cars, skylights, patio furniture, etc.

  41. If we didn’t have Weather that varied, we wouldn’t have Climate Change, and if the Climate never changed, neither would the Weather change.
    Who would want to talk about Weather that never changed?
    Who would bother with studying it, much less keep track of it?
    I’ll take this kind of dust story as an assault on Weather itself.

  42. Duh! It’s a DESERT! Where else do you have sand and dust storms? Talk about a bunch of morons…

  43. As someone who has experienced mud rain a few times in my life all I can say is at least dust is dry, and any rain afterward would clean you up. If you want doomsday wait until thick brown goop covers everything you can see.

  44. I once knew a Kansas farmer who grew up in the Dust Bowl era. If you ever have a chance to talk to such old timers, take the time to get them talking. The dust didn’t effect their lives for merely a day; it went on for years. This fellow told me the world seemed odd to him, when the rains returned and the landscape became green. It was a different world than the one he’d grown up in.

    He called the dust “Dirt Storms.” He would have scorned the word “Haboob.” Either that, or he would assume you had sneezed, and would have said, “God bless you.”

    I have a notebook somewhere full of the tales he told me. One theme was the strange effects dust-caused static electricity had. The spark plugs in cars wouldn’t fire correctly, and the only way to get a car to run properly was to ground the engine. So it was common to see cars driving about dragging a length of chain.

    The farmers who survived that time, and stuck to their land, were some really tough men. They were rewarded by a time of bumper crops afterwards; it was one of the few times farmers drove Cadillacs.

  45. I remember dust storms like this in south-eastern Australia during WW2. On one occasion my father got lost in our backyard.
    They grounded flights at the air force flying schools, not because of visibility but because of the damage done by dust in the aircraft engines.
    I have seen nothing to equal them since.

  46. I was caught in a dust storm in 1972, outside of Spokane Washington, while traveling with my family from Vancouver B.C. The worst part was having to keep the windows up in an un-airconditioned car in very hot weather. We made it through the storm area before the highway was shut down.
    I’ll note that at that time, global cooling was the concern of the day.
    The clogging of air filters can be a problem for engines. Having sand worn propellers pales in comparison to stalling your aircraft because the air intake filters are clogged, for anyone foolish enough to think flying in a dust storm is no big deal.

  47. Having grown up in Phoenix, in High School I learned that the particular type of dust storm, the haboob, that Phoenix had, occurs in the world, other than AZ, only in the Sahara, which is where it got it’s name.

    It may have been named in AZ by the Arab camel handlers the Army brought in while testing whether camels would work in the Arizona desert – they didn’t work out.

  48. I worked in Nigeria over 40 years ago (Geological Survey) and the dry season sent windborn red dust from the Sahara south over Nigeria which is called “The Harmattan”. On the ground, when you dig up the ground to inspect a mineral deposit you go through a few metres of this dust that has accumulated over centuries.

  49. Caleb says:
    July 6, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I once knew a Kansas farmer who grew up in the Dust Bowl era. If you ever have a chance to talk to such old timers, take the time to get them talking.
    ================================================================
    Wonderful!!! I knew several. You’re correct. The experiences related to me seemed surreal, but consistent enough to know they were true. I didn’t have the sense to write any of it down. What I’d give to have just a few more days with my grandfathers and their neighbors. The old men that I knew are all gone now. Their sons are older and quickly fading from this earth.

    Looking back through history, starting with WWI, there was an entire generation which knew nothing but sacrifice, heartache, poverty and hardship. Less than 10 years after WWI ended, the Great depression took hold of the world. Immediately after that, the Dust Bowl occurred. As soon as the Dust Bowl ended, the world was thrust into war, yet again, WWII. It is unfathomable to consider what a person born circa 1900-1910 in the dust bowl area would have endured or witnessed.(WWI they went, WWII they sent their children, and everything in between.) In my estimation, their metal is unparalleled. They were thrown in the hottest of blasts. Their dross quickly separated and thrown in again. The process was repeated until the finest of all metals remained. Harder than steel, more valuable than gold, finer than the finest of silver. And yet, their perseverance rewarded not them, but us.

    post script. It’s interesting. I earlier had a conversation about a man I know. A son of a dough boy. A former POW of an infamous stalag. My uncle. I’m long overdue a visit to him. I think I’ll bring along a pad and paper.

  50. PaulH says: “…there must be hockey stick dust chartists and computer dust modellers looking for a steady stream of grants” /sarc

    These are known as haboobies.

  51. @PaulH says:
    July 6, 2011 at 12:38 pm “…Today, the Earth is twice as dusty as it was in the 19th-century.
    That’s quite the factoid!…” I would call it “bulldust”.

    @Bruce says:
    July 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm “…Vostok Ice Cores say way more dust 20,000 years ago….”

    Probably due to this:

    http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/larson/loess.html

    Loess

    “…Loess is a geologic term that refers to deposits of silt (sediment with particles 2-64 microns in diameter) that have been laid down by wind action (aeolian activity to geologists).

    Extensive, thick loess deposits generally formed in areas bordering large, continental glaciers. Large volumes of meltwater flowed from the edges of these glaciers during the summer. This meltwater carried large amounts of sediments that formed as the glacier ground the bedrock over which it moved. Much of this sediment was silt-sized material known as rockflour. During the winter, when the glacier did not melt, the area where the water flowed was primarily dry. The winter winds would pick up the rockflour from these dry areas and carry it long distances in huge dust storms.

    When the wind slowed, the silt would fall out and blanket the area. Frequently the resulting loess deposits are several meters thick (tens of feet). Because the source of the silt is the outwash from the glaciers, loess deposits are frequently most extensive and thickest downwind from large river valleys. An examination of a map of the thickness of surface loess deposits in Illinois confirms both of these observations….”

    There are derivations of loess other than glacial outwash, but this may be the main source. If you’ve ever seen a stream fed by a glacier, often the water is a funny greenish-white color, almost opaque, due to the rock flour carried in it. The glacial maximums must have been times of enormous loess dust storms, especially in the late autumn and early winter, when everything was dry and before the winter snows set in and stuck.

  52. Alexander Feht says:
    July 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    James Sexton says:
    July 6, 2011 at 1:37 pm
    I assume…

    Don’t. You assume too much.
    =================================
    Then you write too vague.

  53. I lived in the Phoenix area for about ten years. I’ve been through a lot of dust storms (I never heard ‘em called Haboobs back then, in the 90’s).

    They are a true and utter horrendous disaster! They can, in fact, make it necessary for you to wash your car! Oh, the horror….. /sarc

    Anthony has it right. They are an inconvenience (that dust gets into everything). They are far less serious than, say, a hailstorm.

    The only time I really hated it was when one caught me out on a bicycle ride, and it was a bad one. I took shelter under a bridge, used my shirt, plus some water, as a mask, and kept my eyes closed a lot. The bad part (blasting thick sandy dust) usually lasts just a few minutes, and this did. Within fifteen minutes I was on my way again. And that’s the worst one I remember.
    Others forced me to pull over for a few minutes while driving, and later to have to blast my air intake filters with compressed air.

    There is, however, one aspect of the dust storms that isn’t minor, and is largely man-caused; Valley Fever, a fungal lung infection. It comes from fungus in farmland and construction sites mainly, and by some estimates, 1/3 of Phoenix residents have had it. For most, it’s minor (many don’t even notice it). But for some, it can serious or even be fatal (less than 1% for the latter, but still, not good).

    Blaming these on global warming… now that’s just insane, but utterly unsurprising.

  54. Mustafa says:
    July 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Growing up in Karachi, Pakistan, which is on the southern edge of a desert, we looked forward to dust storms because they were always followed by cooler temperatures and rain. I wonder whether the same phenomena occurs in Arizona.
    ###

    Yes! I likewise have often wondered about Pakistan and similar areas of India.

  55. Dust storms here in Phoenix are quite common in the summer months. This one was nothing too special – kind of fun to watch from the front porch, and it was too bad that there were a couple of car crashes. Really though, nothing too catastrophic. It did cool off a bit today as it has been just starting to get nice and Arizona toasty for summer. We have had a fantastic spring this year.

  56. I thought it was cool. A pain to clean up for the locals, but pretty cool to watch.

    As for “climate change”, warmer = wetter, not drier. That’s why it’s ‘humid’ here in CO in the summer and dry as a bone in winter. Just ask my skin. I should have stock in lotion companies.

  57. Dan in California says:
    July 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm
    Didn’t you know that 57.6% of statistics are made up on the spot?

    My authoritative source, which you can’t see because you’d just dis it, sez 73.6%.

  58. Why is this called a “dust storm” instead of a sandstorm? Anybody?

    In late 1971 I was in Giza, Egypt, inside the Great Pyramid, around noon, and when we came out a sandstorm had hit. Standing at the entrance to the GP and seeing that was one of the weirdest sights I’ve ever seen. The color of the sky was ridiculously red-orange, and it tinted everything so weirdly. The palms were b;owing like nobody’s business, yet – unbelievably – the air didn’t appear to be moving, in spite of all the sand in the air.

    We were told it was their biggest sandstorm in over 30 years.

    It lasted till well after dark. The old part of the city was like some of the scenes in futuristic sci-fi movie sets – low, low ceiling (no duh); odd colored air; almost uncivilized, hostile-looking shops and bazaars; and very far different from fog or smog.

    The oncoming wall of dust/sand we missed. Now I wish we’d seen it.

  59. James Sexton;
    Try a tape recorder. Or one of them newfangled video phones.

    I misremember where, but on the web there’s an effort to encourage and collect such audio memoirs. Seems to perk up both sides, the ones listening and the ones being listened to.

  60. Alexander;
    He was sarcastically circumlocuting the logic, which is that you were necessarily including such men. Such is the leakiness and sloppiness of opinionated generalization, of course.

  61. @Caleb July 6, 2011 at 4:02 pm:

    …I have a notebook somewhere full of the tales he told me. One theme was the strange effects dust-caused static electricity had. The spark plugs in cars wouldn’t fire correctly, and the only way to get a car to run properly was to ground the engine. So it was common to see cars driving about dragging a length of chain.

    That is awesome. Man, the adaptable creature. . .

    OT, but something it conjured up in my memory… I read in Reader’s Digest, oh so many years ago, that in the early years of radio, they didn’t know how strong to make transmitters, and that people had all kinds of weird things happen, due to all the energy in the air. I believe it stated that these effects were the reason we have a 50,000 watt limit on AM stations.

    In some places, the radio could be heard on barbed wire fences.

    In one house, if the coal door on the furnace was opened the right amount, they could hear the radio.

    My favorite was that in at least one place light bulbs would not go out. There was enough energy to keep them lit, even when turned off.

    True? I am reporting it as well as I can remember. I recounted all these to people shortly afterward, so that helped it stick in my mind.

  62. wsbriggs says:
    July 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    “It may have been named in AZ by the Arab camel handlers the Army brought in while testing whether camels would work in the Arizona desert – they didn’t work out.”

    They must have been the wrong type of Arab, or maybe camel. Australia imported Afghans and dromedaries. They were very successful. When motorised transport took over in the 1920s, the camels were released, hence the “camel problem” in central Australia.

    There are lots of camels. In my previous life as a geologist, I’ve seen heaps. Once, fully engrosed in a bit of outcrop, a full grown male got to about 2 metres behind me before I heard it breathe. Man, that made me jump!

  63. Arizona CJ says:
    July 6, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    I lived in the Phoenix area for about ten years. I’ve been through a lot of dust storms (I never heard ‘em called Haboobs back then, in the 90′s).

    They are a true and utter horrendous disaster! They can, in fact, make it necessary for you to wash your car! Oh, the horror….. /sarc
    ###

    My dad had to do more then wash the car when he got caught in a bad one near Tucson in the early 70. The paint was destroyed and the windows needed to be replaced.

  64. Brian H and James Sexton,

    Subjecting a generalization to chop-logic doesn’t make it less true.

    Do I have to make a reservation naming Isaac Newton, J. S. Bach, etc., etc. every time when I mention a gullibility of hereditary believers? In a research report, maybe. Not in a blog post.

  65. Its been apparent that the new CAGW fraud has refined its tactics, it now consists of attaching ‘climate change’ to every possible environmental story they can.

    Over fishing AND climate change.

    Over population AND climate change.

    Natural variation AND climate change

    Poor farming practices AND climate change.

    The variations and attachments can be endless and it is a clever way to muddy the waters of an issue and a way to re introduce the CAGW fraud to a sceptical public, it is an attempt to so entangle and dilute the CAGW fraud with real and genuine issues that the public will accept the CAGW fraud. Watch out for many more looming disasters, like the supposed ‘famine’ in Ethiopia, the UN/aid industry sets up a camp in the middle of a poverty stricken area and makes it known by rumour to these dirt poor people that free food and medicines are available, obviously they flock from miles around to access all the free stuff and waiting there are reporters picking out the visual heart string tuggers and its live aid ‘just give us yer f****g money'(live aid,featuring Bob Geldof) all over again and not once will the question be asked just why so many mothers are coming in with half a dozen children that she cannot possibly hope to feed. Attached to the reports will be the inevitable ‘AND climate change’. We are dealing with people who have no moral centre whatsoever, the ends justify the means. We are living in a time when poverty and hunger are being used as an emotional weapon.

  66. Brian H says:
    July 6, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    James Sexton;
    Try a tape recorder. Or one of them newfangled video phones. …………
    =======================================================
    Thanks, considered and probably will, however, with aged men, it is difficult to discern their words with video or tape (digital or otherwise). Context to the person and time is more trick. And, oddly, editing a recording is something I’m much chagrin to do, but, properly interpreting a conversation is acceptable to me. The vernacular of people of age sometimes isn’t palatable to people of less experience and of different time.

    Circumlocuting ——- I haven’t used that word in ages!!!

  67. Alexander Feht says:
    July 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Brian H and James Sexton,

    Subjecting a generalization to chop-logic doesn’t make it less true.

    Do I have to make a reservation naming Isaac Newton, J. S. Bach, etc., etc. every time when I mention a gullibility of hereditary believers? In a research report, maybe. Not in a blog post.
    ======================================================================
    Hmm, no, your generalization doesn’t hold true. I’ve little knowledge of the offspring of your or my examples. However, I’ve knowledge that all of the aforementioned were offspring and all of the ones which weren’t mentioned. And, you know I could go on to a point which would bore …….. Your posit fails scientific logic. Coincidentally, I don’t disagree with part of your posit.

    But, it doesn’t have anything to do with a belief in a higher power. This can be seen. When a belief in a higher power is predominant, I believe scientific advancement is greater than the inverse. Witness this generation’s greatest contribution to mankind, the I-Pod. (Or you can consider the current alarm about our warming, but that doesn’t play well here.) Yeh, that holds a candle to the defining of gravity. Sis, I’m not going to try and convince you, but I’d appreciate the reciprocal.

    The attempt at demeaning people such as me serves no purpose towards the reason why we’re here, and reflects poorly on the intellect of people such as you. If you wish to make a point of theology, I’d invite you to an unfettered posting at my blog.(Or anyone else of the same mindset.) Just click on the link in my name, and perhaps, you’d do me the same. Perhaps not, but either way the invitation is standing.

    The examples I gave were not exceptions to the rule, rather, rules to the exceptions.

    Best wishes,
    James

  68. James Sexton,

    Nobody was trying to demean you. Nobody wanted to make any theological points.

    You either confused me with somebody else, didn’t understand at all what I was saying, or simply are totally confused.

    In any case, you need to order your thoughts before making a public show of self-destruction.

  69. These sand storms are common and regular in AZ monsoon season. Best of what passes for a meteorologist gives little advanced warning, if any, (should get these weather folks windows). Never heard anyone refer to them as a haboob, except a few idiots jabbering on TV pointing at radar images. Late friend Dan, born in 1902, (where Sky Harbor airport runway #1 is now), told many stories; horses being the primary transportation in his younger years, and deadly summers that would thin out the population of old and young alike. First in the valley to get electricity and an electric fan. He thought technology was a good thing, improving quality of life. Being productive and supportive of the community was very important to him, till he got old and deservedly crotchety.

    Not impressed by the fear-mongering chicken little dialectic of AGW and eugenics. Never have been, never will be. AGW purveyors seem not to care much for human life, yet most would vehemently deny this, only because they have not considered consequences of going back to where we have already been. Possibly a reflection of their soul, and they should probably be more productive so they feel better about themselves.

  70. @Alexander Feht says:
    July 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Strange, I thought I was quite clear. Perhaps a rewording of your “gullibility of hereditary believers” posit is in order, so as to not to elicit such responses.

    Again, best wishes,

    James

  71. Has anyone looked at the conditions aloft? I know up here in NorCal the Monsoonal flow was at the mid levels, meanwhile we had a low level weak inversion and some pretty cold air well aloft, the past couple of days. (Since then, the marine layer has thickened, the Monsoon flow is easing back and it’s a bit warmer aloft)

  72. “Today, the Earth is twice as dusty as it was in the 19th-century.” I highly doubt this. *sigh* Just another sensationalized news story to get everyone scared out of their minds.

  73. Man, I can almost believe that calling this dust storm an “Haboob” was intended to conflate it with the malignant “man caused” terrorism brought upon us by the Islamofascists, or perhaps also dredge up fears associated with a nuclear inspired “Blob”.

    Nevertheless, the fact that the “Arabic” people were apparently already able to convert their own aggressive viscous Arabic “Blobs” of old into relatively harmless airborn Haboobs about 800 – 1300 years ago, without any assistance at all from an increased atmospheric fossil fuel CO2 concentration – whose direct gaseous or warming effect no doubt explains [just as in the case of its quelling of ACE] what eventually happened to America’s still existing 1950’s era “The Blob”, now having just shown up again in Phoenix as a mere dust storm – is very impressive indeed.

    Therefore, and of course with a little more “help” from our Nation as per President Obama’s prime directive to NASA, the low self-esteem of the Islamic Nations will certainly soon be restored to its Medieval levels and such that they would then be able to control “the climate” using their own provenly effective means.

  74. re post by: Mike Abbott says: July 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    The same study cited by The Atlantic claiming that “Today, the Earth is twice as dusty as it was in the 19th-century” more specifically found that “levels of dust around the globe doubled everywhere except above North America, where levels dropped a little bit.”

    I’d like to know how that works. What, there’s a magical mystery force field protecting N. Am. from higher dust levels, we’re cut off from the rest of the world’s atmospheric patterns? Time for all the AGW climate scientists to leap to it and get those grant requests in to study this mystical new property that’s been discovered! /sarc. Ok, ok, maybe I’m the idiot and somehow weather patterns really do wind up with dust variations that leave N. America segregated from the rest of the world, but gotta say my red warning flag was immediately raised on hearing that claim.

  75. re post by: Mustafa says: July 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Growing up in Karachi, Pakistan, which is on the southern edge of a desert, we looked forward to dust storms because they were always followed by cooler temperatures and rain. I wonder whether the same phenomena occurs in Arizona.

    Hi Mustafa,

    I’d have to say yes, I think the same phenomena occurs in Arizona and actually several Southwestern states, although maybe it’s not exactly the same thing as you’re referring to since I’m thinking of monsoon bringing dust storms, rather than cooling that’s directly from the dust storms….

    I’ve lived all over the United States, but wound up with a career move taking me to S. Nevada several years back – where I was amazed to learn that we get monsoon season here. I gather that the large Phoenix dust storms like this one are typically associated with monsoon season – and monsoon usually breaks the heat a bit. It often isn’t associated with much rain, or at least not in some areas such as S. Nevada, but is definitely associated with far more clouds and often quite notably higher humidity and far more frequent virga too (cloud bursts or rain that evaporates before it hits the ground – can be VERY beautiful! http://www.stormeyes.org/tornado/SkyPix/ftsumner.htm or http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2010/11/03/sunrise-rainbow-and-virga-above-the-buttermilks or http://malleescapes.redbubble.com/sets/13033/works/2753911-virga-sunset or http://mojavedesert.net/overview/a01.html).

    Anyhow, to varying degrees these things all often combine to significantly drop daytime high temperatures… intermittent shade from the clouds, evaporative cooling, and so on. We can go from 110 to 120’s down into the low 100’s or even high 90’s in a flash as soon as monsoon rolls in. As long as it doesn’t get too humid, those temps can be pretty comfortable, particularly with a bit of shade from the clouds and a light breeze. I know, folks who’ve never lived in hot desert conditions will probably find that almost impossible to believe, but it’s quite true. :0) On the other hand, once you get above a certain temp, maybe 112ish or so, and it’s just a durned blast furnace.

  76. re post by: James Sexton says: July 6, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Shoot James, bring a video camera!! Then just use the pen and paper to note any thoughts you have as the discussion goes along. Why write it all down when these days you can get the stories on video and capture not only the story, but also voice, expression, emotions….

  77. re post by: wsbriggs says: July 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Having grown up in Phoenix, in High School I learned that the particular type of dust storm, the haboob, that Phoenix had, occurs in the world, other than AZ, only in the Sahara, which is where it got it’s name.

    Sad to say, but which ever ‘teacher’ taught you that needs to either be fired, or get remedial education if they haven’t since learned better – and maybe even then if they are as off base about other issues as they were about where haboobs can occur. Along those same lines, I was floored to see an msnbc article quoting a meterologist who was making a similar claim, that large dust storms (haboobs) only occur in Az, the Sahara, and the middle east. It takes almost no time with the most simple of online searches to discover that they occur all over the world – pretty much anywhere that is arid or semi arid. For your teacher to claim that they only occur in Az is just sad on so many different fronts – like dust storms somehow magically know our state boundaries and just instantly stop before crossing into New Mexico or Nevada? They quite commonly occur not only in Az, but also New Mexico and Texas, and less often in quite a few other states. If you go back to the dust bowl years they were all over the place. They occur in parts of China and India, and in Australia, and in S. America, and so on.

    It may have been named in AZ by the Arab camel handlers the Army brought in while testing whether camels would work in the Arizona desert – they didn’t work out.

    As to the camel experiment – it was during the 1850’s and 60’s, and for the most part successful. The camels adjusted well and functioned very well in the US SouthWest. According to the US Quartermaster History Museum (http://www.qmmuseum.lee.army.mil/historyweek/26aug-1sep.htm):

    …Despite some reported liabilities — regarding the animal’s strong, distinct odor, spitting and regurgitating tendencies, razor-sharp teeth, and occasional aggressiveness — the experiment was generally deemed successful. Camels were praised for their speed, endurance, strength, and adaptability.

    The advent of the Civil War a few years later, and the capture of Camp Verde by Confederates more or less ended the experiment. After the war all 66 camels were sold for $31.00 apiece. Five of them wound up going on tour with the Ringling Brothers Circus, others roamed freely till their dying days.

    Some report that the last wild camel was seen in the 1930’s. Here’s another report of the experiement… it also notes problems with the camel’s disposition, smell, and fear of horses, burro’s and donkey’s unused to seeing them, but goes on to state:

    …in 1858, then-Secretary of War John Floyd told Congress, “The entire adaptation of camels to military operations on the Plains may now be taken as demonstrated.”

    He urged Congress to authorize the purchase of 1,000 more camels.

    Congress didn’t act, however, as it was preoccupied with trouble brewing between the North and South.

    With the first shots of the Civil War, the Camel Military Corps was as good as dead….

  78. Can’t believe we’re adopting an Arab word for something native to the Western Hemisphere. The difference in grain and quality of North African and North American sand is well documented, so is the direction, water content, and aroma of the air. Arab “Haboobs” just ain’t American Sand Storms; it’s apples and oranges, it’s night and day, it’s etc. and etc. . Native Americans, Mexicans, and Greengos have been using all kinds of nice Indian (American Indians;-), Spanish, and English words to label these things, we don’t have to import something that sounds like a flubbed sneeze or an item of human anatomy (or something to cover same). Now, think! The one to “Name the American Beast” (which is different from an African Boob) shall be forever immortalized on the World Wide Web for all eternity with an appropriate blog entry. Ready? Set? Go!

  79. ‘Today the Earth is twice as dusty as the 19th cent.’
    PROOF PLEASE!!!

    Dust storms are a way of life in the Sahara Desert, and all the others. Texas is a desert area. QED.

  80. I’m with Alan. Why an Arabic name for the dust storm? Native Americans have lived here all along, isn’t there a Native American word for this phenomena? I’m sick of the media.

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