A Desert Khamsin

Some days we have sandstorms and then some days we have SANDSTORMS! This was one such day…  and my first experience of a menacing and beautiful desert storm.
Last year, in April there was a short flash of a storm that lasted a whole of 40 minutes… and a baby storm compared to this.
There I was…in the kitchen, buttering my toast and nursing my evening cup of coffee… and out the kitchen window I see this unusual cloud. It seemed out of place… so close to the ground. By the time I realized it wasn’t a mere rain cloud but rolling barrels of dust…it had formed a menacing band across the horizon.
Even as I ran and got the cam… it had grown ever more menacing and was angrily rolling forward. I wondered about the people on the roads, they wouldn’t even see it approaching…
Boy…would it be a surprise to them! And a lot of people got caught in the dust especially since it was a Friday (the weekend in Kuwait) and everyone would have been out having fun.
Within a span of 15 minutes the barreling clouds of dust had wrapped my building and everything was pitch dark…
As I write this, it is almost 5 hours since the storm started, I can hear the terrible wind banging against the enormous glass walls of my apartment… and fine dust has seeped in through whatever little gaps it could find through the doors. Everything smells of dust and outside the visibility is almost nothing.
It is scary but awesome at the same time… Nature’s wild,  beautiful scare tactics !
Here are some pics I managed to take from my bedroom window…

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12 thoughts on “A Desert Khamsin

  1. In open areas it might be bad. But in the city, it is more of a nuisance than anything else… albeit an awe-inspiring one. The biggest issues sandstorms cause are traffic snarls and air-traffic interruptions.

    Out in the open desert, they can take you by surprise… highly unpredictable as they are.

    But, I have come to love the sand and dust in Kuwait… it lends a surreal quality to the place. A sort of Martian landscape.

  2. Enormous! Nature’s Way! I have never stepped out of India, had visited Rajasthan, but never witnessed something at this scale. Well, in my coastal native region, I have experienced cyclones and cloudburst.
    But this seems like tsunami in sand. No wonder people there, men and women, more than for modesty, cover their whole body, head to toe, to protect.
    Thanks a lot for sharing.

  3. This time of year in Kuwait is generally dusty and very windy (75 to 100 mph). Visibility is very low… and all you see is a Martian landscape… yellow & red dust all around.

  4. Yep… they look scary. And exactly like in MI4.
    These pics are from the 20th floor… and my first experience seeing the storm actually roll in.
    But as long as you aren't out in the open it does not really harm much. Of course, everything outside is covered with fine sand. And at times there is that tiny bit of seepage into the house in spite of air-tight windows.

  5. Awesome pictures. I remember the aandhis that would take us by surprise when we were living in Jodhpur, and the fine dust seeping in. But of course, on a scale of 1-10, what I experienced must have been 5, the one you experienced must have been 10 !

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