Texans Don't Care For Your Heathen Muslin Dust Storms, National Weather Service
Like the good, decent, patriotic paranoid wingnuts ofArizona a couple years back, the good, decent, patriotic paranoid wingnuts of Texas know a threat to all that's good and holy and American when they see one, and what they saw on the Facebook page for Lubbock station KCBD last week was an invasion of creeping Sharia weather: the station reposted a National Weather Service bulletin that a Haboob was approaching the Lubbock area. And like decent Americans, they freaked the fuck out about the station using a “meddle eastern term [sic]” instead of the perfectly normal American "dust storm."
“Since when do we need to apply a Muslim vocabulary to a good ole AMERICAN dirt storm?? ...I take great offense to such terminology! GO BACK TO CALLING THEM DIRT STORMS!!”
“It’s called a dust storm..Texas is not a rag head country.”
“Never had a haboob until we got that Muslim boob for POTUS.”
“John Robinson [the station’s meteorologist] wants to call it a Haboob, let him MOVE to where a SAND STORM is called that!!!!!!!!!!”
Sadly, the station appears to have scrubbed that particular post from their Facebook page, possibly because they just don't want the evidence of their support for Muslin Weather to be public. Yr Wonkette is on the record as favoring the term "haboob," because boobs.
Now, some of your Muslim Apologists like this blogger at the American Geophysical Union made all kinds of excuses like "The name comes from the Arabic word habb, meaning 'wind'" and "this term has been in common use around the world since at least 1951," but that didn't fool the good people of Lubbock, who pointed out that there are perfectly good English words for dust storms, and they are more accurate because they are English, stupid.
To their credit, a lot of other Texans jumped in to tell the haters to STFU because really, and warned the wingnuts to beware algebra, alcohol, zero, and all the numerals in their paychecks. This gave the Daily Beast's Dean Obeidallah some hope that decency will one day prevail, because "for every Negative Nancy there were 10 Tolerant Toms."
A couple of days after the winds of butthurt died down, KCBD posted a follow-up story to their website, noting that among Weather People, there are actually differences between a haboob, a sandstorm, and a dust storm, notably that the last is usually associated with a "period of drought over normally arable land." The post even explained the difference in some detail, with the help of NWS meteorologist Jody James:
"The differentiation between a haboob and just those days when we get blowing dust everywhere and the whole sky turns brown has to do with more of that wall of dust coming in," James said.
"There's really two primary ways that happens. You can get those from thunderstorm outflow - cool air that hangs on the ground moving out, away from thunderstorms... The other way is like we had yesterday, just along the cold front, which sort of act the same way. You get cold, dense air that not only hugs the ground, but picks up dust several thousand feet in the air."
Learning things is good! Though not all readers absorbed the lesson: In the comments on the article was this gem from Dave Raber of Double Adobe, Arizona:
We are Americans, not Arabs. They are all dust storms.
We do have to wonder if he insists on saying that he lives in Double Mud Brick.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.