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What is a haboob and when was the word coined?

During the monsoon season, June to September, large dust storms often overwhelm Arizona. Storms become more severe when the previous spring and winter seasons are dry, which allows you to loosen dirt. When dust storms hit certain criteria, they are considered “haboob”.

Haboob is an Arabic word that essentially means strong and violent winds, according to Andrew Deemer, meteorologist of the Phoenix National Weather Service and former linguist.

In this week’s episode of Valley 101, a podcast that answers your questions about the Phoenix subway, producer Taylor Seely breaks the components necessary for a dust storm to be considered a phenomenon, as well as how and when the word entered the Arizona lexicon.

In this episode, you’ll hear from:

  • Andrew Deemer, National Weather Service meteorologist
  • Pedro Gomez, ESPN reporter, whose automatically corrected tweet on haboobs has gone viral
  • Locals who have direct experience with these haboobs

Listen to the episode:

The best way to listen is to subscribe to Valley 101 on your favorite podcast app, but you can also stream the whole episode below.

NOTE: Valley 101 must be heard. But we also offer a transcript of the episode’s script. There may be slight deviations from the podcast audio.

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