Friday, August 19, 2011

A Dust Storm Hits Phoenix

A "haboob" or dust storm moves from the suburb of Tempe to downtown Phoenix Thursday. To get an idea of how big the dust cloud was, check out the buildings in the lower right corner. Those are 30 - 50 stories tall.  
A haboob (Arabic for "strong wind") is a type of intense duststorm commonly observed in arid regions throughout the world. They have been observed in the Sahara desert, the Arabian Peninsula, throughout Kuwait, and most arid regions of Iraq. In the USA, they are frequently observed in the deserts of Arizona, including Yuma and Phoenix, as well as New Mexico and Texas. "Haboob" has been widely used to describe dust storms for more than a generation In Arizona but this year the very word "haboob" has become a political football because some conservatives have lobbied against use of the word, favoring English words, like "dust storm." Personally, I think haboob has a nice ring to it. 
There are more photos of the habob in my archive or available from ZUMA Press


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Faces of Arizona

I was up in Eagar and Alpine last week working on stories about the aftermath of the Wallow Fire, the largest wildfire in Arizona history. 
The fire ripped through the White Mountains, from Greer in the west to Alpine and Nutrioso in the east, and from the edge of Eagar in the north to south of Hannigan Meadow. It was a massive blaze, its scars, large swaths of scorched countryside, will be visible for at least a generation. 
At Luna Lake, east of Alpine, a group of ranchers met with US Congressmen Steve Pearce, of New Mexico and Paul Gosar, of Arizona, both Republicans. There was something about their faces I really liked.