You have to forgive Iowans for not being big fans of learning new weather terms. Prior to 2020, how many of you had heard of a derecho before? Unfortunately, Iowans got a first-hand lesson on the power of that type of storm. Yesterday in areas of Northwest Iowa another type of storm not often seen in the Hawkeye state rolled through. The storm is called a haboob.

So what exactly is a haboob? CBS2 reports that it is another name for an intense dust storm. The term haboob is derived from the Arabic language. The storm is caused by strong, sinking air coming down and out ahead of a thunderstorm. They aren't all that common in Iowa, but in other dryer parts of the world seeing a haboob is fairly common. So why did we have one in Iowa yesterday?

Facebook via Meteorologist Brandon Lawrence
Facebook via Meteorologist Brandon Lawrence

CBS2 reports that portions of Nebraska, South Dakota, and far Western Iowa have experienced severe drought conditions in the past year. That leaves soil dry and dusty and easily picked up by the storm's high winds. Speaking of winds, they were recorded in excess of 100 miles per hour at times yesterday. After the experts take a look at all the data, yesterday's haboob could also meet the criteria for being a derecho too. What a strange weather world we live in.

Here is a video from CBS2 meteorologist Nick Stewart who was in NW Iowa yesterday and saw the haboob roll through.


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