Thursday, August 14, 2014


Starting on Tuesday morning our weather really took a change. We woke to quite a thunder storm moving through our area. By that evening this system had moved across the Cascades to Central Washington. Because of our dry hot summer we witnessed an event that is not normally seen in our State. The first pictures of what was happening were very eerie, and made us grateful that we were not on the road, considering I had just drove through this area over the weekend.

A Haboob, or as we refer to this as a dust storm, the Arabic word is haboob. Yesterday morning Selena sat out to discover what caused this and why. She has heard and seen images of huge dust storms with her Uncle TJ living in Arizona, but has never witnessed one in her own State. After looking through all the images we could find, and mapping out the areas affected by this storm, she quickly went to work researching, learning all that she could learn. This research took us on various paths, what is atmospheric gravity, how is a thunder storm created, and what is the difference between warm fronts and cold fronts.

We spent most of the day discussing all that we were learning, then came the time to summarize our understanding. Selena learned that first of all these haboobs happen in very dry areas, such as deserts. Due to lack of rain in our State, it created a perfect place for this occurrence. She also learned that the air or winds from the warm front were traveling in the opposite direction of the incoming cold front or storm cells. All clouds have moisture in them, so while we maybe did not see or feel rain from the clouds on the ground, non the less when the two systems interceded, it did cause rain from the clouds. This rain quickly started disturbing and cooling the warm front, causing the winds to disperse out and change directions. The friction of these two systems caused an atmospheric gravitational pull which began to pull the dry soil up into the sky, the winds became very gusty due to the unsuitability of the two systems interacting with each other. With the soil being pulled up and wind gusts of up to 70+ mph a huge wall of dust formed, which was pushed along by the winds. This storm engulfed many areas in Central to Southeastern Washington.

Maybe we didn't explain it like a true scientist would have but we did learn a lot and had fun doing so. I leave you with one last picture of what this storm looked like.

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