4:00pm
I checked the Wunderground updates and the following warning was issued.

AT 346 PM PDT…DOPPLER RADAR WAS TRACKING A LINE OF STRONG
THUNDERSTORMS ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM SUNNYSIDE THROUGH THE TRI
CITIES TO NORTH OF WALLA WALLA AND MOVING NORTH AT 35 MPH.

A GUSTS FRONT PRODUCING WINDS 60 TO 70 MPH WILL BE POSSIBLE WHEN
THESE STORMS MOVE INTO SOUTHERN GRANT…ADAMS…WHITMAN AND NORTHERN
GARFIELD COUNTIES.

THESE WINDS WILL MOVE INTO MATTAWA…OTHELLO…HAY AND POMEROY
BY 430.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
MOSES LAKE…OTHELLO…COLFAX…WARDEN…RITZVILLE…POMEROY…
CASCADE VALLEY…MATTAWA…ROYAL CITY…LIND…ST. JOHN…GEORGE…
ENDICOTT…WASHTUCNA…HATTON…SMYRNA…DODGE…PAHA…WINONA AND
BEATRICE.

THOSE ATTENDING THE GRANT COUNTY FAIR ARE IN THE PATH OF THESE
STORMS AND SHOULD PREPARE FOR IMMINENT DANGEROUS WEATHER CONDITIONS.

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 800 PM PDT
TUESDAY EVENING FOR NORTH CENTRAL WASHINGTON

Next I checked the Nexrad radar to find a cluster of storms over Tri-Cities, with mesocyclone systems on both sides extending 100 miles wide. The systems were forming that tell-tale line we now associate with haboobs (habub). There were two last year (2013) in September and one El Derecho in July of 2012, so the radar can be a very useful tool.

 

Nexrad Radar Picture moving north of us

Nexrad Radar Picture after the storm passed

4:15pm

The air was dead calm and the temperature read 100o
I read the report out loud to Will and the response was “time to go get ready, it’s probably moving fast”.

4:20pm
It took 1/2 hour an hour to run through the check list: Release and lower the tensile structure, weight it down on the deck, Close all outbuilding doors, chairs up against the north wall, umbrella down, chickens into greenhouse, pull the tarp over their enclosure down and weight it in place, close all but one greenhouse door (100o and chickens inside), secure anything loose or laying around, find cats and put them in the shop with doors closed.

4:40pm
We came around the west side of the house to roll up the awnings, looked south and saw it would be a habub. The sky has such a strange appearance when this happens; in front of the usual dark various dark shades of gray thunderheads – a giant red brown tinted wall roils and appears to move like a giant north shore Oahu wave.

5:03
After we rolled up the awnings I was able to snap the following pictures, at 5:03pm, from the edge of the driveway looking south. There was a light breeze & the temperature still read 100o. I thought the wall was at least 30 minutes away.

Incredible view of impending wall of dust from driveway

Ocean Wave of Red Brown Dust

Wall of Voodoo Nine Minutes Away

Wall of Voodoo Nine Minutes Away

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5:09

That would be me, being wrong. I walked down the driveway to the house, onto the deck, turned around to see Will latching the last greenhouse door shut and looked just beyond him to see the wall cross the road onto the property. I went in, stood by the door, took this photo and then opened the door for Will.

Running for the house

Two Minutes Too Late

The door to the middle silo wasn’t latched tight enough and the wind ripped it off its hinges. The silo door is made of solid steel. The haboob was so severe you could not see beyond 4 feet outside.  Inside the house we required lights to see anything. It vacillated between total darkness and an eerie yellow and lasted for ½ and hour. The large system responsible for the habub pushed north becoming discordant, flailing off in all directions and unfortunately did not bring us the rain we were hoping for. Instead it changed course and moved away in a NW pattern (not normal) after hitting Spokane. (Nexrad photo)

At 6pm the temperature read 70o.

Here’s an explanation from Wikipedia

” When this downdraft of cold air, or downburst, reaches the ground, it blows dry, loose silt and clay (collectively, dust) up from the desert, creating a wall of sediment that precedes the storm cloud. This wall of dust can be up to 100 km (62 mi) wide and several kilometers in elevation. At their strongest, haboob winds often travel at 35–100 km/h (22–62 mph), and they may approach with little or no warning. Often rain does not appear at ground level as it evaporates in the hot, dry air (a phenomenon known as virga). The evaporation cools the rushing air even further and accelerates it. Occasionally, when the rain does persist, it can contain a considerable quantity of dust. Severe cases are called mud storms. Eye and respiratory system protection are advisable for anyone who must be outside during a haboob. Moving to shelter is highly desirable during a strong event.”

Looks like we made the National News

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/08/13/haboob-dust-storm-eastern-washington/13989481/

http://www.kgw.com/story/news/local/vancouver/2014/08/13/haboob-dust-storm-washington-ritzville/13999587/

 

more later….