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Haboob blows through town/Brown dirt covers everything/Car washed yesterday
June 18, 2012 8:43 AM   Subscribe

To raise awareness of the hazards of Haboobs, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) ran a “Haboob Haiku” challenge last week, soliciting the 5-7-5 syllable poems from residents via social media. posted by Potomac Avenue (56 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
The winner is easy:

Stop with the driving/already. It’s a freaking /mile-high cloud of dust
posted by mrgrimm at 8:48 AM on June 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm sure Sokka could come up with something good.
posted by kmz at 8:52 AM on June 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


Working on mine now. The last line will be...

Show us your haboobs.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:58 AM on June 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


The winner is easy

Yeah. It's this:

You're not a Jedi / This is not Tatooine, Luke / Pull over now, man.
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:01 AM on June 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Of course, Arizona finds a way to bring me down about this.

‘Haboobs’ Stir Critics in Arizona
“I am insulted that local TV news crews are now calling this kind of storm a haboob,” Don Yonts, a resident of Gilbert, Ariz., wrote to The Arizona Republic after a particularly fierce, mile-high dust storm swept through the state on July 5. “How do they think our soldiers feel coming back to Arizona and hearing some Middle Eastern term?”
posted by zamboni at 9:04 AM on June 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


“How do they think our soldiers feel coming back to Arizona and hearing some Middle Eastern term?”

Think of them as 'haBⵙⵙBS' and it's all Apple Pie.
posted by mazola at 9:07 AM on June 18, 2012


“How do they think our soldiers feel coming back to Arizona and hearing some Middle Eastern term?”

Better not tell this guy about alcohol. He probably already thinks algebra is a liberal plot anyway.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:09 AM on June 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


“How do they think our soldiers feel coming back to Arizona and hearing some Middle Eastern term?”

Never mind all the servicemen whose PTSD is surely being triggered every time they see someone eating hummus.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:10 AM on June 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


“How do they think our soldiers feel coming back to Arizona and hearing some Middle Eastern term?"

We do not speak of ... the falafel incident.
posted by griphus at 9:10 AM on June 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


Let's not forget about al-A'bamā
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:12 AM on June 18, 2012 [22 favorites]


Haboob, aka dust storm, aka scaryblackdeath as a little boy must go outside and play right now because this is bad ass!

Better not tell this guy about alcohol. He probably already thinks algebra is a liberal plot anyway.

I know, right? And all them damn, foreign, Arabic numerals! We should go back to Roman numerals! At least those aren't terrorists!
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:12 AM on June 18, 2012


Hang on, hang on. Our country has a fine tradition of patriotically euphemisms. I say we call it a Mission Accomplished Storm.
posted by griphus at 9:14 AM on June 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


"The Hazards Of Haboobs" sounds like some sort of unauthorized eight-bit Prince Of Persia Vs. Leisure Suit Larry knockoff.
posted by mhoye at 9:16 AM on June 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Haboobs are seriously intense weather phenomena. I've been through a couple, and they usually happen when it's a clear sky day with thunderheads forming off in the distance.

You can see them coming from miles away. One day when I was working in Tempe, Arizona I was outside on a smoke break with co-workers when we saw one rolling towards us from a distance. A few of us already knew what was coming so we prepared to batten the hatches, so to speak. Right before it came through it was clear, dry and windless, and the next moment it was blowing 60 mph winds and sideways rain filled with sand and dust like God's own sandblasting gun. A moment after that it was as dark as night with almost zero visibility and we couldn't even see the end of the sidewalk out the front door. A moment after that it had blown one of the glass doors out and shattered it.

If you're caught driving in one, you really want to get off the road and wait it out. If you're on a side street just park, preferably off the road in a lot or tucked into a row of parked cars. If you're on a freeway, pull as far right on the shoulder and emergency lane as you can and turn off all car lights and then get the fuck away from the car up on the landscaped shoulder. (Stay out of deep brush and grass, watch for rattlesnakes and diamondbacks. Wee, isn't Arizona fun!?)

Yeah, this means going and waiting out the haboob in the open in a blast of dusty/sandy rain. Hunker down, put your back to the wind and keep your eyes closed if needed. It should pass in a few minutes.

If you don't have a landscaped shoulder to escape to, stay in the car and keep your seatbelts on and make a wish or pray or something, but keep your running lights or emergency blinkers off.

If you leave your running or hazard lights on you may attract someone driving at speed who thinks you're still on the road and moving and they may plow into your parked/stationary vehicle because they're trying to blindly follow you. If you stay in your vehicle you still may get plowed into by someone driving at speed and unable to see anything on the road ahead of them.
posted by loquacious at 9:16 AM on June 18, 2012 [18 favorites]


::We do not speak of ... the falafel incident.

The falafel incident?
---
I know it's not at all a fair assessment, but thanks to Sheriff Arpaio I find it so hard to trust anything coming out of a government office in AZ.

And yes, with me currently living in Texas one could easily say the same about gov't offices here and Perry or any number of our other "elected" public officials, but Ol' Joe's sullying of Arizona's name has done such ugly creeping damage that it's hard to not think of it.
posted by item at 9:17 AM on June 18, 2012


I'm still fuming over algorithm, algebra, and assassin. And chemist, and artichoke and alkaline, and candy and calipers and ... well, a solid chunk of English vocabulary, really. It's almost as if the Arabic-speaking world has done tremendous things to advance human knowledge, and has therefore influenced the surrounding cultures in positive ways, or something.

Also,

Eye-blinding sandstorm:
Haboob, pull the fuck over
This isn't Twister.
posted by gauche at 9:18 AM on June 18, 2012


boobs are good
ha- sounds funny
get out of the dust storm dummy
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:21 AM on June 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Imagine, Americans commenting on a storm with an Arabic name using Japanese metrical forms! It's like the One World Government is already here! people are probably writing these while eating General Tso's Chicken and French Fries, washed down with a German beer and some Australian wine! Holy crap! We are all communists now!
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:24 AM on June 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm stuck with this in my head now:

"Oh, life could be a dream, If I could take you up in paradise up above ....Life could be a dream, sweetheart.... Ha-boob, ha-boob, Ya-da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da Da, Ha-boob, ha-boob, Ya-da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da Da...."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:27 AM on June 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nyet, tovarisch. This is the KFC that is out of Double Downs. The KFC that is out of Famous Bowls is across the ploschad.
posted by griphus at 9:28 AM on June 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


More on topic, I was about 6 years old when one of those things hit our part of Texas. Absolutely terrifying and exciting as all hell at the same time. I remember little, other than my mother was on her way home from work when it hit and after she pulled the family's Ford station wagon into the garage you could actually scoop the dust off of the hood with your hand. I aldo recall all of the plants in our overgrown back yard having a thick layer of dust on their leaves. I'd pull back on a bush, release it, and slingshot crud all over my older siblings. Unfortunately, my much older bully of a brother stole this technique from me and I ended up swallowing more dust than a mite at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
posted by item at 9:28 AM on June 18, 2012


“How do they think our soldiers feel coming back to Arizona and hearing some Middle Eastern term?”

I wonder if it's anything like how Middle Easterners in countries we've invaded/are at secret war with feel when their kids eat at McDonald's.
posted by DU at 9:31 AM on June 18, 2012


If people want to call it a haboob, they can, but I prefer "dust storm." It joins our other storms, like lightning storm, thunder storm, ice storm...one happy meteorological family!
posted by Atreides at 9:31 AM on June 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


A screaming comes across
the sky: not Pynchon,
but a haboob this time.


If that sounds slight, don't forget:

Twice five plus seven
syllables can't say much -- but
that's haiku for you.

posted by ubiquity at 9:32 AM on June 18, 2012


Haboob (dust storm) sweeps through Phoenix Valley following Haiku contest

I love that the Washington Post's headline makes it sound as though there was cause and effect involved.
posted by me3dia at 9:44 AM on June 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


If people want to call it a haboob, they can, but I prefer "dust storm."

Imagine, Americans commenting on a storm with an Arabic name using Japanese metrical forms! It's like the One World Government is already here!


Haboobs are dust storms
Stirred up by the rotors of
Black helicopters
 
posted by Herodios at 9:50 AM on June 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


We should go back to Roman numerals! At least those aren't terrorists!

The Romans in the past: decadent eunuchs and homosexuals who also happened to be intimately involved in the death of Christ

The Romans of the present: half lazy, shiftless, Godless socialists, half funny-hatted Papists

No, we need good, solid American numerals that we can be proud of, that represent our way of life. If there aren't any right now, we'll just have to stop using numbers until some pull themselves up by their own bootstraps like any numeral system worth using would.
posted by Copronymus at 10:00 AM on June 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


shisk-haboob
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:03 AM on June 18, 2012


"How do they think our soldiers feel coming back to Arizona and hearing some Middle Eastern term?"

I am going to print out this entire wiki entry, cram it into an enormous white glove, and slap him with it while demanding satisfaction.
posted by elizardbits at 10:14 AM on June 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I will be very disappointed








If these are not roadside-posted








Like ads for Burma-Shave.
posted by Decimask at 10:19 AM on June 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Yes, how dare we use foreign words for meteorological phenomena! We should use real Amurrican words like "tornado" or "hurricane" or "tsunami"!
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:23 AM on June 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Haboob is coming
For once, consider taking
Seamus off the roof
posted by argonauta at 10:29 AM on June 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


This American
Haiku had its syllables
counted in Dicks. LOL.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:56 AM on June 18, 2012



So...I grew up in the Phoenix desert (this is when Phoenix was WAY smaller than it is now.)

Dust Storm, dust devil and the other foreign word--Monsoon all part of the weather in Phoenix.

Haboob, whatever, we get it. It's a freaking dust storm.

Also, there's a fungus that lives in that dust, it's coccidoimycosis, also known as Valley Fever. I'm infected and it's such a joy!

So yes, get out of the dust, but to really be clear get the eff out of Phoenix!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:00 AM on June 18, 2012


Hazardous Haboobs: Band name or "evil foreigner" themed WWE jobber tag-team?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:08 AM on June 18, 2012


Twice five plus seven
syllables can't say much -- but
that's haiku for you.


Japanese Haiku
Five syllables, seven, five
blah blah fucking blah
posted by FatherDagon at 11:15 AM on June 18, 2012


“How do they think our soldiers feel coming back to Arizona and hearing some Middle Eastern term?”

Sheriffs generally cope by adding extra alcohol to their coffee.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:42 AM on June 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Last year's 5th of July haboob was by far the worst I've seen in 15 years in this god-forsaken desert. This was taken from my car as it started as I was on my way home from my office: a 0.6 mile drive.

Suffice to say, it's absolutely terrifying. If I was on the freeway, I would've pulled over immediately, but this was literally 30 feet from my house at this point, so I pulled into the open-gated underground garage and waited for the dust to flow on through. And flow it did.

Also, it's nice that the news media was able to put out a call and get one to stick for "are you a lunatic angry at the use of the word haboob? Did you know it's Arabic? How about now?" but no one really gives a fuck. That's what they're called. Like monsoons, which are loosely rooted etymologically in Arabic as well.

Christ, this state. It's 113° today. You know what the worst part about 113° is? It's that it's NOT EVEN AS HOT AS IT GETS HERE. It hit 117° last year. 117°, if you haven't experienced it, is firmly in the camp of "go fuck yourself, weather" weather. It forces the liquid to dry off of your eyes, like opening an oven and getting hit with its blast of hot, dry air. It causes you to hold your breath when you're outside, so as to keep the heat outside of you for as long as possible. It's a dry heat, sure, but it's a dry heat that causes your car to reach nearly 200°. Good luck if you have leather, anything black, or any metal trim.

The difference between 100° and 115° is really what gets me: it is powerful in its obstinateness. It can raise your core temperature and bring about a fierce, angry sweat in the 30 seconds from car to house. In the depths of the summer here, late July and August, there are days where it will barely dip below 100°, if at all. The urban heat island we've created for ourselves absorbs the heat, soaks in it, releases it slowly throughout the night. The urban desert is no longer a place where the temperatures dip into the bearable 60s and 70s in the late hours. No, instead, you find yourself skittering for the relief of AC even at midnight or two am.

Now we have mile high clouds of dust bearing down on us. We've always had some form of dust storm, but I swear it hasn't been as bad as it was last year. A simple dust devil is cute: a harmless mini tornado that reminds you that we live in Arizona—one of the few states basically immune to nearly any type of natural disaster. A haboob is staggering in its presence. It's enormity. It's comforting in a way to know that it's unlikely to kill anyone not on a highway, but it's still able to strike you with a sense of awe as you contemplate getting the hell out of its way.

This video from a fellow resident shows just what we're talking about.
posted by disillusioned at 12:05 PM on June 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Learn something new every day. Upon first reading, I thought it was a new vartiant of side-boob.
posted by hwestiii at 12:30 PM on June 18, 2012


The difference between 100° and 115° is really what gets me: it is powerful in its obstinateness. It can raise your core temperature and bring about a fierce, angry sweat in the 30 seconds from car to house.

"But at least it's a dry heat!" people who have never actually lived there will say, and it's a stinking lie.

The week that I finally moved out it was over 110-120 F for a week straight with humidity ranging from 50-90%. They had a peak temp during this heat wave of something like 125. Arizona has a monsoon season where it's inhumanely hot in the middle of thunderstorms and rain, and it'll give any hellishly hot and humid place in the South a run for it's money when the conditions are right.

And when these conditions are right it's like walking around in an actual sauna. Oppressive isn't a strong enough word. It's more like it's nearly suicidal to go outside.

The only reason why Phoenix survives this at all is the presence of datacenter grade air conditioning basically everywhere, all powered by the giant nuclear power plant just upwind of Phoenix.

I did a summer without air conditioning in a tin roofed shed near Downtown (Roosevelt and Grand) in the haphazard arts community there. Worse - I didn't even have a working fridge. The nearest actual grocery store was over two miles away.

I survived by drinking up to or in excess of two gallons of water a day, usually backed up by Gatorade and lots of ice. And yet I rarely had to pee. The closest store of any kind was a drive through liquor store that also did a brisk business selling ice by the cup to the locals. More than once I managed to sweat completely through a futon. One time I fell asleep reading an ebook on a Palm Pilot on my pillow. It died.

Ambient air temperatures in my little cubby-hole would often exceed 140 F. It was fucking ridiculous.

Getting ready for work was a daily two or three hour ordeal and practice in zen-like calmness and slow motion. Just putting on a pair of pants or shoes was enough to bring out a full body sweat. So I'd wake up early and take my time so I could towel off in between events, saving the shirt and tie for last. Then I'd walk as slowly as possible to the bus stop and wait for the air conditioned bus to come save me.

I've been biking out in that kind of heat. The "it feels like an oven out there" isn't an exaggeration, you can open your front door and it feels like you're sticking your face in an oven or an electric hair dryer cranked up to 11. It's like biking around with a heater mounted on your handle bars and aimed at your face.

In the weird little art space I was living at we basically survived by sleeping in the day and staying up very late drinking cold beer. It was almost impossible to get any work done during the day since the entire small complex we were in didn't have any air conditioning. The main room/building did have a swamp cooler, but those stop working after it gets too humid since they depend on evaporative cooling.

After nearly three years in Seattle I get seriously annoyed when it's warmer than 75. If I went back to Phoenix right now I'd surely burst into flames and leave a small pile of cinders.
posted by loquacious at 1:24 PM on June 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


The only reason why Phoenix survives this at all is the presence of datacenter grade air conditioning basically everywhere, all powered by the giant nuclear power plant just upwind of Phoenix.

To be fair, Palo Verde is downwind of Phoenix proper. :-)

Also, I would never for a second consider trying to live out here without AC. I flat out refuse to stay in swamp or evap cooled buildings too, for that matter.

People ask how we manage out here during the summer and the answer is really just that we stay the fuck indoors if we can help it. And we make sure our indoors are full of conditioned air. I have friends with no AC in their car. I can't imagine it with no AC in one's house. The mind boggles.
posted by disillusioned at 1:30 PM on June 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I hear about misery like that and I just want to scream MOVE AWAY. I mean, seriously, why do people even live in a place like Phoenix at all? It sounds like someone canvassed America and made a list of all the worst attributes of every city they visited, then put them all together into one hot racist suburban crypto-fascist wasteland. Is cheap land really that compelling? Why do people put up with it?
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:01 PM on June 18, 2012


Yeah, but it's a dry heat.
posted by griphus at 2:07 PM on June 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


To be fair, Palo Verde is downwind of Phoenix proper. :-)

Maybe only during monsoons when the thunderstorms cells are doing their neat trick of marching West-Southwest back down off the Mogollon Rim against the jet stream and prevailing West-to-East wind currents.

The normal prevailing wind pattern for Phoenix is generally West-to-East just like everywhere else in the US, and Palo Verde is West of Phoenix.

I believe it's also the only major commercial nuclear power plant that's not situated on a major body of water for cooling purposes.
posted by loquacious at 2:14 PM on June 18, 2012


Is cheap land really that compelling? Why do people put up with it?

This is a question most of us ask about people who endure four months of horrific winter weather and salt damage on their cars.

Seven months of the year we have phenomenal weather. It hangs out in the 70s during December and January. We never get snowed in. We never get snow at all. But we're only a 90 minute drive from the stuff if we want a taste. So we have the advantages of California coast weather for most of the year without California costs.

I don't really like the sprawl aspect, and I'm not too fond of the desert's "beauty". But we have a fantastic freeway system, some great dining options, major league sports teams of varying quality, and some other benefits. I don't think I'll stay here forever. I miss green and I miss rain too much. But I can easily see myself wintering here when I finally get around to getting the hell out of here.

(And seriously, the cost of living is fantastic here.)
posted by disillusioned at 2:18 PM on June 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The "dry heat" thing used to mean something, even through most of my childhood in Phoenix, but the huge amount of growth that brought in huge amounts of water thanks to non-native landscape and such meant that long before I escaped Arizona twelve years ago, humidity was starting to make the dry heat a quaint memory (and my allergies nearly unbearable). I've always thought it was very funny that people moved to Arizona to escape allergies and have a nice clean dry place to recover from tuberculosis but they brought all their eastern grasses and flowers with them and then, well, you know.

And we had dust storms growing up and they got pretty hairy sometimes, but it seems like they're getting much worse. These massive walls of dirt that black out the sun--that only happened a few times when I lived there, and only toward the end. And I lived in a mobile home for a significant portion of my life in Arizona so I was pretty sensitive to big windy storms.

Anyhow, I do not miss driving to work as unclothed as legally possible in the summer, then layering up on the way into the office in order to brace myself for the fifty degree temperature swing. We all kept blankets in our offices to keep warm inside in the summer! It was ridiculous! I lived like that! What?
posted by padraigin at 2:39 PM on June 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


AZ is 4chan
of our politics -- haboobs
or GTFO
posted by dhartung at 3:26 PM on June 18, 2012


Ha' boob (or hayboob, to the English) is better than no boob at all.
posted by zippy at 4:23 PM on June 18, 2012


Yeah, but it's a dry heat.
posted by griphus at 2:07 PM on June 18 [+] [!]

...So is a blowtorch.

The only reason I'm still in Palm Springs is I can't fucking afford to move away. It's my second summer here. My car doesn't have a/c, but the apartment does* or I'd have long since spontaneously combusted.

You think, "How bad can it be?" and "I spend all summer indoors in front of the a/c with a computer anyway" and "Lots of people live here happily, so there must be ways of coping" but nothing really prepares you for the reality of trying to live with this heat. To say nothing of haboob - the minor dust storms we get out here are intimidating enough.

Every damn thing I do (or more often, don't do) revolves around staying out of the sun and staying hydrated. It's exhausting. Pervasive doesn't begin to cover it. More power to the people who can handle it, but I'm just not cut out for this shit.

(*Contributing further to global climate change, the irony is not lost on me)
posted by Space Kitty at 5:17 PM on June 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


(*Contributing further to global climate change, the irony is not lost on me)

Yeah, even the local thermodynamics of urban desert living is all wrong, and the heat island and AC problem in places like Phoenix, LA or now many "Western style" desert places like Abu Dhubai have always bugged me. (And the high desert around LA and Palm Springs is rapidly turning into a continuous megopolis that makes the "inland empire" look like a rational idea.)

I don't know if anyone has ever actually studied this - but given a sprawling city like Phoenix, with its weather and architecture, with its use of many millions of individual air conditioning units - there's going to be an overall, local thermal cost from those air conditioning units being output directly into the local atmosphere - leading to a wasteful energy feedback loop of unknown size. Mainly this thermal cost is at ground level and around the buildings being cooled.

And that thermal cost isn't linear, because of the laws of thermodynamics and how heat exchangers/pumps like air conditioning works. According to the laws of thermodynamics, overall an air conditioner is actually a complicated heater that works by cooling off a volume of contained air. If you put an air conditioner in a sealed box with any quantity of atmosphere it will begin to inefficiently warm up the air in that box.

And, hey, the Earth is a sealed box full of a finite amount of air.

Even without the architectural mass heat storage - there's going to be a non-zero thermal impact on the local environment from air conditioners even before including things like carbon impact and global warming.

That very real thermal cost likely runs into many megawatts of lost efficiency and power for a city the size of Phoenix, and I'm probably being charitable in my estimation.

On the other hand, people have lived in deserts for a long time. There are many known historical ways to build passively cooled buildings if we could just update our damn code laws, and if we could reassess our idea of what a nice house really is and let that definition be adaptable depending on the climate when living somewhere like Phoenix.

There are also many more modern ways to do lower cost or more efficient cooling. One large way is to freeze a giant slushy cube of water and salt during the cooler, offpeak hours and then use that stored cold energy during the heat of the day. Or to build homes with thicker walls, or infused with stored water for thermal mass, or to build homes partially or fully underground, or with passive cooling towers. Or, say, homes that exceeded the bare minimums for insulation.
posted by loquacious at 5:53 PM on June 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's that it's NOT EVEN AS HOT AS IT GETS HERE. It hit 117° last year.

Only 117°? Please. Back in 1990 it hit 122º and they had to close PHX.

Haboobs are seriously intense weather phenomena. I've been through a couple, and they usually happen when it's a clear sky day with thunderheads forming off in the distance.

Thanks for the thorough instructions on how to deal with driving in those things. Is there something similar for hailstorms? I got caught in the October 2010 one over I-17 that was for a few minutes worse than being in a snow white-out. I'm still amazed that the car windows didn't shatter.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:31 PM on June 18, 2012


As an Arizonan, haboobs are amazing. Frightening, but incredible. Seeing a gigantic wall of dust about to roll in is like nothing else.

As for the heat, for every person who hates it, there's someone like me in Arizona, who doesn't mind. It was 113 in Phoenix today and I did my normal 4 PM jog for an hour. It's warm, and I take along a little water and put on a little extra sunscreen, but it's really not that bad. It adds to the challenge of running.

One last thing. You know what saddens me? That someone can't post a lighthearted link about Arizona, without having people come in and dump all over it with their "durrrr Arizona conservative idiots" posts. Yes, I know idiots live in my state. They live in your state too. Can we just have fun talking about dust storms and insane summers without you crapping all over our conversation?
posted by Old Man McKay at 11:44 PM on June 18, 2012


fuse theorem: In central Florida, hailstorms usually involve pulling the fuck off the road and texting all your friends to stay inside or get their cars under shelter ASAP as a semi-public service. As for yourself, you're already off the road at that point and your car now has character.
posted by mcrandello at 11:49 PM on June 18, 2012


Thanks for the thorough instructions on how to deal with driving in those things.

Well, that's easy because the answer is simply "Please don't drive at all, you maniac."

Is there something similar for hailstorms?

"Please don't drive at all, you maniac?" *shrug*

Except maybe you can stay in your car since chunks of ice are falling from the sky. Though getting away from a vehicle parked on the shoulder of a busy freeway is generally good advice.

I'll leave that up to you. I would strongly suggest getting as far away from a parked/disabled vehicle on the freeway as you can handle, barring falling ice capable of giving you blunt force brain trauma. If it's anything smaller than an apricot I'd probably get the heck away from the car on the shoulder in white-out conditions. Grab a floor mat and use it as a shield for your brains or something. Standing too close to the shoulder isn't a good idea no matter the weather, and it's even less of a good idea in severe weather.

The main point being is that cars on shoulders in low-visibility conditions have a tendancy to get smashed and wrecked. Hail or fog or rain isn't going to kill you in itself, but being a stationary target on the freeway just might. As will driving. Ask a highway patrol officer, highway maintenance worker or EMT. An alarmingly large fraction of the driving population per capita seems to think that emergency lanes and shoulders are legitimate passing or outright driving lanes even if they're already going 10-20+ over the speed limit.

These are also sometimes the same people who are meth addicts, Jerry Springer Show candidates, "I've only had a few beers!" drivers and/or the criminally insane who are still legitimate license holders and vehicle owners.
posted by loquacious at 12:01 AM on June 19, 2012


"Please don't drive at all, you maniac?" *shrug*

Ease up there, cowboy. If you're already on the road when one of things rolls in you don't have a choice not to drive. At best you can pull off the road. I had no idea that hailstorm was coming until I saw it progressing a few miles down the freeway. Fortunately, I was able to get off the freeway and onto a regular street before it hit but in that area there weren't many covered places to take shelter.

Except maybe you can stay in your car since chunks of ice are falling from the sky.

Decisions, decisions. It was a solid white-out with at least golf-ball sized hail. I felt that getting out of the car would have put me in danger of either a concussion or other bodily damage, or worse, getting hit by another car. However, while sitting in the car I was seriously concerned that the windows were going to shatter. It was a very scary few moments, like an outtake from the movie The Day After Tomorrow. (For future reference, using a floor mat for a shield is a good idea. Thx.)
posted by fuse theorem at 6:14 AM on June 19, 2012


Learn something new every day. Upon first reading, I thought it was a new vartiant of side-boob.

You mean ha'boob, like ha'penny? That works for me.

Are they kept in demi-bras?
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:43 AM on June 19, 2012


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