We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Haboob?

A haboob is a wall of dust that can stand hundreds or even thousands of feet high. It is the result of high winds that blow down and agitate sand and dust, which causes the debris to blow up into a tall stacked wall. An average time span of a haboob generally ranges from 10 to 30 minutes. Haboobs typically occur in dry areas, particularly the Middle East, the Sahara, North Africa and the US state of Arizona, where there are large amounts of sand and high temperatures. These dust walls can be dangerous if they are tall enough to cause issues with visibility, particularly if it affects ground and air transportation.

More about dust storms:

  • The word "haboob" comes from habb, which is an Arab word meaning "blow" or "wind."

  • Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, experiences an average of one to three dust storms each year. From 2003 to 2013, more than 100 dust storms were reported in the state.

  • According to Greek legend, the army of Persian ruler Cambyses II was buried by a dust storm during the sixth century B.C. after the 50,000-man army conquered Egypt.
Allison Boelcke
By Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke, a digital marketing manager and freelance writer, helps businesses create compelling content to connect with their target markets and drive results. With a degree in English, she combines her writing skills with marketing expertise to craft engaging content that gets noticed and leads to website traffic and conversions. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
By candyquilt — On Oct 17, 2013

@fBoyle-- Is it true that the dust from a haboob can get through closed windows and will cover everything with dust?

By fBoyle — On Oct 16, 2013

@alisha-- Did you guys have trouble breathing when you were there?

I was once caught in a haboob in Arizona as well. I ended up pulling over and staying somewhere until it passed. It was so difficult to breathe! I seriously would have worn a face mask if I had found one.

I've seen mild sand storms before, but a haboob is definitely the worst I've seen. It's an unbelievably huge cloud of dust.

By discographer — On Oct 16, 2013

There was a haboob when we took a trip to see relatives in Phoenix last year. We were driving, so everyone warned us about visibility issues. Apparently, a lot of car accidents happen when there is a haboob, cars usually slam into each other because they can't see far ahead.

Thankfully, we didn't have any problems. But we're definitely going to check the weather forecast in Phoenix before we plan another trip there.

Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke, a digital marketing manager and freelance writer, helps businesses create compelling content to connect with their target markets and drive results. With a degree in English, she combines her writing skills with marketing expertise to craft engaging content that gets noticed and leads to website traffic and conversions. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.