Monday, September 10, 2012

Dust Storms

We just had an unbelievable weather pattern today.  It started out clear, with a few high clouds.  Around noon it clouded up.  Then at about 1 pm, a wall of dust rolled in.  "Rolled" is a good word for it: it advanced pretty fast, absolutely silent, no wind, just a wall of dust coming across the desert towards us.  It even had a dust devil in front that passed directly over me.  I can't show most of those pictures because they show some key features of our base, but here's one that looks out over the town of Hutal.

When the dust hit, the wind kicked up and then the rain exploded.  It didn't last long, but it was intense. Then it was gone, the skies cleared up completely, and it turned into a beautiful afternoon.  The rain made the place smell like a fishing pier, though ... don't know how that happened.

And then at 6 pm, here came a second wall of dust.  This was another fast-moving, silent, ominous storm that was sweeping across the desert.  Because of the late-afternoon light, it was bright orange.  This storm didn't bring any rain, just choking dust, and most of us covered our faces with scarves, handkerchiefs, or whatever was available.

The dust is still here and the wind is blowing.  I'm staying put, right here in my room.

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