Seventh haboob hits Phoenix this monsoon - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Seventh haboob hits Phoenix this monsoon

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PHOENIX, Ariz. (FOX 32 News) -

Before we go any further, what exactly is a haboob? The word haboob is Arabic for "strong wind". It is defined as a dust storm with strong winds created by a thunderstorm downburst.

Phoenix has seen seven of these massive dust storms this monsoon season, with five of them occurring in July. Phoenix, on average, sees 3 of these dust storms between June and September.

Haboobs can reduce visibility down to near zero, move at a ground speed of 60mph, and produce winds gusts up to 65mph. This photo was taken Saturday July 28, 2012.

One of the biggest dust storms to hit Phoenix occurred on July 5, 2011. This beast was spread out over 100 miles long and was 5,000 feet tall. Here's video from YouTube.

Because this summer is transiting into an El Nino, the United States should experience a particularly "robust" monsoon season.

More thunderstorm activity from an active monsoon season could be the fuel behind the fire of Phoenix's haboobs.

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