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Natural Disasters

By: Aubree Davis

Please take a minute to look at the pictures below and read about the different natural disasters. 
To see an activity about flooding click here

Are highly concentrated winds, that cause a lot of damage. When micro-bursts strike they only target a small amount of space, and cause A LOT of damage.
The above picture is what a micro burst looks like, and how it is formed. The picture to the right is actual damage a micro-burst caused here in the Sonoran Desert. 

DUST-DEVILS- Are a lot like tornadoes but generally much smaller and less intense and are composed of dust and sand. Cars typically drive through them unharmed. They can be spotted in a dirt field on a windy day. Sometimes you can see three or four going at one time. They typically don't cause any damage.
The siobiotic crust is the natural materials that build up under the plants in the desert. These materials may include leaves, sticks, larger chunks of dirt, as well as seed pods from other plants, as seen in the below picture. The siobiotic crust could be thought of as "natures trash". The siobiotic crust can be disrupted because of wind, fire, and mostly human disruption. The sio-biotic crust is disturbed when people and animals walk through shrubs. When the siobiotic crust is disturbed, and the wind comes in we get the natural phenomenon, haboobs.
Picture taken by Aubree Davis

A haboob is a great big wall of dust and dirt that can reach 3,000 feet high and miles long. A haboob can transport dust, and sand. They can also be accompanied with dust storms. Fun Fact- There are only two places in the world where haboobs occur, the Sonoran Desert ,and in Sudan in the Sahara Desert. The haboobs in Sudan are much larger than the ones we see in the Sonoran Desert.
Picture taken by Aubree Davis

DROUGHT- Is a period of dry weather, especially a long one that endangers crops. The vegetation that is native to the Sonoran Desert is accustomed to these weather conditions, especially droughts. They go into hibernation much like the plants and animals do where it snows all during the winter, like bears. 

During monsoon season we will see between 1 to 2.5 inches of rain in each of these months. A monsoon is when clouds build throughout the day and then around four o’clock the storms begin to produce signs of rain. Lightning from monsoons can cause fires which create a natural disaster in the Sonoran Desert. 
Rain usually falls in the late evening and though out the night. As wonderful as the monsoon's are, and as much as we need them, they cause lots of flooding and damage. In the picture below, the water is in the lower half of the picture. 
Picture taken by Paul Gill