Huge sandstorm in Baghdad

Sandstorm hits today in the afternoon and a thick layer of dust blanketed Baghdad.

This is a haboob form of storm. When air is forced down and pushed forward by the front of a traveling thunderstorm cell, it drags with it dust and debris. Winds of speeds up to 100 kmph can stir up dust and sand and create a blowing wall as high as 10,000 feet.

Haboobs usually last only 10 to 30 minutes, but on rare occasions can last longer and create hazardous conditions for ground transportation systems, air traffic and motorists.

The last 4 photos are tweeted by Hyder Al-Shake.

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