What Exactly Is a Haboob and How Can You Prepare for One?
We’ve been experiencing quite a bit of rain over the past couple of weeks. Sunday night featured a pretty intense thunderstorm that blew in a dust storm, or as you've probably heard it called, a haboob.
As many times as you've heard the term Haboob thrown around, do you know exactly what it is?
According to Weather.gov, a Haboob is the same as a dust storm but particularly takes place alongside a thunderstorm. "Haboobs occur as a result of thunderstorm outflow winds. They strike with little warning, making driving conditions hazardous," the site explains. The terms "dust storm" and "Haboob" can mostly be used interchangeably.
"A dust storm usually arrives suddenly in the form of an advancing wall of dust and debris which may be miles long and several thousand feet high," the National Weather Service says. This makes these storms extremely hazardous and not something you want to mess around with.
Keep scrolling for some tips on how to prepare for a Haboob and stay safe if you find yourself caught in a dust storm.
If you find yourself driving in the middle of a dust storm or haboob, the best thing to do is pull over and wait for it to pass. If you're able to safely pull off the road, carefully do so, shut off your car, and turn off your lights.
While people used to say to leave your lights on while pulled over, that's no longer advised because it can cause confusion and accidents.
Bring Stuff Inside
If you have any decorations, furniture or other items outside that might get damaged, fall over or blow away, bring them inside. If you see a storm rolling in, you're going to want to act fast and secure any of these items that you care to protect. If not, it might blow down the street or end up damaged by the blowing dirt. This includes taking in your trash bins, putting your cars in the garage, and keeping your pets inside.
Charge Your Electronics
Just like with any other storm, it's important to be prepared for a possible power outage. Make sure you have flashlights on hand, charged devices, and extra batteries just in case.