A dust storm or sandstorm is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front blows loose sand and dust from a dry surface. Particles are transported by saltation and suspension, causing soil erosion from one place and deposition in another. The Sahara and drylands around the Arabian peninsula are the main source of airborne dust, with some contributions from Iran, Pakistan and India into the Arabian Sea, and China.
A giant haboob ready to engulf Gilbert, Arizona.Haboobs are walls of dust that typically form from the outflow produced by strong thunderstorms in semiarid and arid regions of the world.Winds can whip to 60 mph in these events and visibility may drop to zero,leaving huge areas cloaked in dust,sand and mud after the haboob passes.In the southwestern U.S.,haboobs have a propensity to occur during the summer months sometimes in association with monsoon thunderstorms.Photo by: S Lehtonen
The Dust Bowl: By 1932, 14 dust storms, known as black blizzards were reported, and in just one year, the number increased to nearly 40. The Dust Bowl brought ecological, economical and human misery to America during a time when it was already suffering under the Great Depression.