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Dear Tom,

I just read a news article about a taboo happening in the Plains. What is a taboo?

Thank you, Phil Bigelow

Dear Phil,

Haboob is an intense dust storm. The name comes from the Arabic word “habb” which means wind. Haboobs occur frequently in areas of Sudan, averaging almost two dozen a year. They can occur anywhere in the United States but are most common in the desert Southwest. They often develop because strong thunderstorms blow sand or dirt into the air, significantly reducing visibility. Haboobs recently formed as severe thunderstorms swept across the Dakotas and Nebraska into Minnesota and Iowa, causing gusts of more than 75 mph, with gusts of up to 107 mph recorded east. South Dakota. Abundant supplies of dust and dirt were available to activate the haboob, the result of freshly plowed, dry topsoil.

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