“Dust in the Wind” – Cities prone to dust storms

Source: examiner.com

In conjunction with Ken Burns new documentary film entitled “The Dust Bowl” which is premiering November 18th and 19th on  PBS, I thought a post about those urban areas around the world that are subject to dust storms, sand storms, and haboobs on a fairly regular basis would be interesting. To my surprise, there are a lot more urban areas impacted by these events than I first thought (see list below).

While the Dust Bowl was largely a human made environmental disaster, in many arid and semi-arid places these storms are a regular feature of the local climate. They can be stirred up by drought conditions, high winds, and even thunderstorms.  Human actions that deplete topsoil, remove/alter natural vegetation, enhance global warming, and that build large population centers in geographic areas susceptible to these storms can lead to catastrophic consequences.

Source: en.wikipedia.org

I also have to admit that these storms are amazing to see in videos, still photographs, and even satellite imagery. Just below this paragraph are five very impressive images of dust storms/sand storms/haboobs from recent history. Aside from the obvious traffic hazards associated with these impressive storms, they can also have huge environmental, economic, agricultural, and health related impacts.  Needless to say, they should not be taken lightly, no matter how relatively innocent and captivating they may look.

Lubbock, Texas dust storm –                            Source: today.ttu.edu/2011/10/public-forum-to-address-drought-impact-in-west-texas/

Micro dust burst haboob in Arizona Source: mikeoblanski.com

Timbuktu sand storm – Source: flickr.com

Alice Springs dust storm – Source: flickr.com

Satellite view of a dust storm over Brisbane –                                                    Source: earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=17706

Partial List of Urban Areas Impacted by Dust Storms, Sand Storms or Haboobs

  • Abilene, Texas
  • Agra, India
  • Ahmadabad, India
  • Alamogordo, New Mexico
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Alice Springs, Australia
  • Amman, Jordan
  • Ankara, Turkey
  • Baghdad, Iraq
  • Bakersfield, California
  • Basra, Iraq
  • Beijing, China
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Cairo, Egypt
  • Canberra, Australia
  • Cordoba, Argentina
  • Damascus, Syria
  • Delhi, India
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Edmonton, Alberta
  • El Paso-Juarez, Texas-Mexico
  • Fez, Morocco
  • Fresno, California
  • Great Falls, Montana
  • Hutchinson, Kansas
  • Hyderabad, India
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Jerusalem, Israel
  • Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Kano, Nigeria
  • Karachi, Pakistan
  • Khartoum, Sudan
  • Kuwait City, Kuwait
  • Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Lethbridge, Alberta
  • Lhasa, Tibet, China
  • Lubbock, Texas
  • Mexicali, Mexico
  • Midland-Odessa, Texas
  • Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
  • Moscow, Russia
  • Muscat, Oman
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Rabat, Morocco
  • Regina, Saskatchewan
  • Reno, Nevada
  • Richland-Pasco-Kennewick, Washington
  • Roswell, New Mexico
  • Rostov, Russia
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • San Angelo, Texas
  • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Scottsbluff, Nebraska
  • Spokane, Washington
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Tehran, Iran
  • Timbuktu, Mali
  • Torreon, Mexico
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  • Wichita, Kansas
  • Wichita Falls, Texas
  • Yakima, Washington
  • Yekaterinburg, Russia
  • Yuma, Arizona
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21 Responses to “Dust in the Wind” – Cities prone to dust storms

  1. basil berchekas je says:

    Have been through them in Baghdad and Basra…and last month, I believe, I remember when a massive dust “blanket” was carried from as far away as Colorado and the Dakotas southeast on the Jet Stream to Alabama and Georgia; wondered why it looked so “foggy” in Huntsville for several days…

    • Rick Brown says:

      Thank you, Basil. Don’t remember hearing about the dust blanket.

      • basil berchekas je says:

        The dust blanket didn’t last long, but it was on TV a couple of months ago during a hot dry spell; the dust was carried aloft along the jet stream and eventually dropped over the Southeast US; wish I had some source to send you on it…I’ll look for it….

  2. There are no “haboobs” in Arizona.

  3. Keep Houston Houston says:

    “Human actions that … build large population centers in geographic areas susceptible to these storms can lead to catastrophic consequences.”

    Ahh yes, the “everyone who doesn’t live in geographic-climactic context identical to the state of Michigan is living and unsustainable lifestyle and therefore DOOOOOOOMED!” Ruins what would’ve otherwise been an interesting post; I loved the pic of the stadium in Lubbock.

  4. I haven’t checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend :) .

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