A haboob swept through the Coachella Valley on Thursday evening, bringing intense winds and blowing sand that suddenly cloaked areas in the dust as the storm made its way west.
High winds moved into the Thermal area at around 5:45 p.m. and arrived in Palm Springs about half an hour later. By 7 p.m., the winds and the worst of the dust had subsided in much of the valley.
While the storm downed trees — and surely brought pain to any valley residents who happened to leave their car windows open — there did not appear to have been significant or widespread damage.
The storm was the result of a strong thunderstorm in the Yuma, Arizona, area that created strong outflow winds that pushed west into Riverside and San Diego counties.
What is a haboob?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration describes a haboob as a short-lived event in which the front of a traveling thunderstorm cell drags dust and debris. They usually last 10 to 30 minutes and can create walls of dust as high as 10,000 feet, or nearly two miles. The name "haboob" is derived from the Arabic word haab, which means wind or blow.
A dust storm rolls along the landscape near the windmills in Palm Springs, Calif., Oct. 6, 2022. -Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun
The sun sets during a dust storm at La Quinta High School during Thursday night's JV game between the Blackhawks and Palm Springs. -Matt Ward/Contributed
A dust storm rolls toward the pass near the windmills in Palm Springs, Calif., Oct. 6, 2022. Hwy 111 is pictured at the bottom. -Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun
The Palm Springs Air Museum is seen as a haboob moves over obscuring a view of the mountains in Palm Springs, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022.
Traffic slows down on Gene Autry Way as a haboob passes over Palm Springs, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. -Andy Abeyta
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