Friday, 14 November 2014

realistic hollywood haboob

My recent visit to the cinema got me thinking about the drama of dust storms.

They say that global warming will increase the propensity for dust storms. Cinematically, they look dramatic and can form part of dystopian (sorry about that) storylines.

The thing is, I can remember experiencing a real one that looked just about as spectacular as those in the movies.

It was only around three years ago, when we were in Scottsdale, Arizona and one blew up from the right side of my view and then tracked slowly as a wall of sand across the landscape. I took a photo of the newspaper story at the time.

Not a movie still. This is the real one from around Scottsdale.

We'd only just arrived in Scottsdale which is right next door to Phoenix in the Arizona desert. They both have that 'settled-in' look which dramatically stops at the city limits. It is similar at the outskirts of Palm Springs in California, where you drive past the last block and are suddenly back in desert. Holding back the environment with technology. Switch it off and the sand returns.

The Americans call these big dust storms Haboobs, which I'd heard before when I was in the deserts of Arabia. I think haboob is actually an Arabic word.

Wherever it's from, it's interesting that Hollywood's IMAX depiction of really big storms don't seem to be much larger than some of the real ones that already cut through parts of Arizona.

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