Whoa! It Rained!

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Now that might not sound to special to the rest of you, but around hereabouts it’s kinda unusual.

There I was (no shit, this really happened) in the office doing whatever it is that I do, I noticed a sudden increase in the amount of grit in the air.  I look up and back at the windows, and clouds of dusts are billowing out.  Now, a typical duststorm will easily penetrate this building, but usually it’s a gradual kind of thing.    When I say dust clouds are billowing out, it’s like it’s being pumped into the building, now seepage.  Then it gets dark out.

You may remember these pictures from a previous storm:

Lots of Dust

Well, it was heck of a lot oranger and darker than that time.  The building 40m in picture 2 where you see a dim outline and a slightly more obvious tree at right center?  Well, we couldn’t even see the other building that’s only about 8-10m from us!  At one point, the truck parked outside, 4m from the door was only dimly visible.  There was a heck of a wind blowing.  Usually these storms stroll sedately through and take their sweet time coating everything around.  This was shaking the doors.  Then it lightened up a little and the ground began to get slightly darker in spots.  Whoa!  That’s rain!

It was bad enough that all the comms went out, too. Sure, AFN dies if you stop praying for it in the first place, but AFN radio died about a half hour before the storm dropped on us. It may have been coincidental, it’s out probably a third of the time or so. AFN cable dropped when the storm hit, and then all the phones and network took a dive. Interestingly enough, Radio Sawa stayed on the whole time. :)

Now, in the real world, it’d be rain.  Here, it’s actually dusty mud falling from the sky.  As the wind continued to blow, the storm kept moving.  The dust went meandering off to the east, and the wet mud fell more and more.  30 minutes later, the only way to tell it actually happened is the high amount of dust all over the inside of the building that we need to clean up some, and the vehicles are all streaked with dustspots where the mud hit, splashed, and dried near instantaneously.  Total time of this strange weather experience?  15-20 minutes, tops…

Life In A Sandstorm

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

We get some decent sandstorms here.  Not quite like that “Wall O’ Dust” you’ve probably seen pictures of, but impressive in their own right.

Sandstorm obscuring the distance

Antennas In The Mist

The sun looks pretty odd, too.

A Sandstorm Sun

Good Ways To Waste Your GDP

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Hmm…you could set it on fire, I guess.

Burning Wells with Dust Devil

At first I heard “hey check out the clouds” so I went outside to see the blackness.  “Wow,” I thought.  “It’s gonna rain!”  Then I went back inside and carried on about my business.  Only later when I went out for something else and went around the corner of the building did I see the plumes.  All I saw the first time was black on the horizon, not the source. :)

We get a lot of dust devils here, too.  I’d say at any given time you can see at least two of varying qualities.

Dust Devil, well developed

Closer view of the fires…

Burning Wells

On the left is a C130 flying outbound.

C130 and Burning Wells

‘nuther debil.  There’s trash flying around in this one.

Dust Devil with trash

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