Sandstorm in Riyadh – March 25, 2011


The room is foggy, I can’t hardly breathe that I  almost choked when I inhaled the dust particles.  Another bout of sandstorm is here!  Strong wind whistling,  sand particles swirling and dancing, you can hear the whooshing of the wind from the inside of the house.  My sinus cavities are blocked, again.   Since I set my foot in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, my sinusitis has never been better.

Internet connection was disrupted for sometime. Armed with my camera and a face mask, I braved the wind and dust,  went out and took pictures of the  sandstorm.  From the pictures I took,  you will see an orange, dusty and foggy environment.

What is a sandstorm?

According to wikipedia, a sandstorm or dust storm is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions.  Dust storm arise when a gust front blows loose sand and dust from a dry surface.  Particles are trasported by saltation and suspension, causing soil erosion from one place and deposition in another.  It has been argued that recently, poor management of the earht’s dry lands, such as neglecting the fallow system, are increasing dust storms from the desert margins and changing both the local and global climate, and also impacting local economies.

The term sandstorm is used most often in the context of desert sandstorm, specially in the Sahara, or in places where  sand is a more prevalent soil type than dirt or rock, when, in addition to fine particles obscuring visibility, a considerable amount of larger sand particles are blown closer to the surface.  The term dust storm is more likely to be used when fine particles are blown long distances, specially when the dust storm affects the urban areas.

Summer time is just around the corner.  I must brace myself for allergy, oven heat temperature and  sandstorms.  Itchy bitchy season 😦

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