DENVER — Typically we think of the giant dust storms that envelop desert areas of Arizona being called haboobs. Denver had a very weak version of a haboob late Tuesday.
A haboob is most appropriately used to define a violent dust storm in Sudan. Yet, the use of the term has been extended to apply to dust storms that drop visibility caused by a front(wind shift).
Since this was not a violent dust storm, and visibility was only slightly reduced it’s a bit of an exaggeration to call Denver’s dust storm a haboob. Yet, it applies to the relaxed definition of the term.
As a cold front slid through the metro areas Tuesday afternoon the strong wind with it began to pick up dust. By 5:44 pm wind at DIA gusted to 48 mph.
In Denver, the wind picked up around 6:15 pm Downtown and a wall of dust came with it.
Here’s a timelapse of the view over downtown, you’ll see the dust arrive from the right:
A haboob is defined as a dust storm created by strong winds associated with a front. In this case, a cold front.
Temperatures at DIA dropped by more than 10-degrees in less than a half hour as the front passed.
This system will keep highs closer to average Wednesday, 80 for the city, and the wind won’t be as strong as it was Tuesday.