Haboobs are caused when the strong winds blasting out of a thunderstorm hit the ground and kick up the loose sand and dust covering the arid landscapes. Just as a shelf cloud marks the leading edge of a thunderstorm from above, a thick dust cloud marks the leading edge of this same thunderstorm from below. Arcing across the sky landscape stretching dozens of miles from end-to-end, these dust storms can reach up thousands of feet in the air, and move across the landscape at highway speeds.
The thunderstorms that often spark these haboobs have a tremendous flash flood potential thanks to a desert landscape that is not efficient in absorbing the sudden heavy rains produced by these types of storms.
|[Haboob entering Lubbock (Texas, USA)]|
This added moisture provides fuel for daytime thunderstorms, that usually ignite over the mountains. Like clockwork during the summer months, these afternoon thunderstorms bring needed rainfall to a very thirsty desert, provide stunning lightning displays and spark those iconic dust storms that have become a signature of monsoon season.