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Time Lapse Tuesday: Arizona Haboob with Mike Olbinski

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By Suzanne Leonard
Weather Broadcaster
@SuzanneTWN
Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 2:44 PM

If you’ve ever seen or been in a haboob, it’s a weather phenomenon you'd never forget.

These intense dust or sand storms are more frequent in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula but they're also common in Arizona. This U.S. state has a catchy phrase -- "pull aside, stay alive" -- to help drivers remember what to do if they’re caught in one.

Some of the most famous dust storms came during the Great Depression of the 1930s. It was a time of severe drought, failed crops and devastating erosion, as loose soil enveloped vast areas of Canada and the U.S. -- hence the term "the Dust Bowl".

Haboob comes from the Arabic word for wind, "habb". It's typically caused by a thunderstorm's gust front and can move in fast, "swallowing up" a city like Phoenix.

Have a look: Today's time lapse travels to Arizona with photographer Mike Olbinski.

Make sure you look at our full Time Lapse gallery, and visit our website every Tuesday for the newest featured video.


BEAUTIFUL HAWAII: Buckle up! Next week we're travelling to Hawaii with Gavin Heffernan. If you have a time lapse video you'd like to share, upload it to our website.


Behind the scenes, Digital Editor Cheryl Santa Maria is coordinating new Time Lapse installments that will take us to the Mojave Desert and Alberta's Dinosaur National Park. Tune in for these, and many other great time lapse films, in the weeks to come.

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