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AZ Tech Beat | November 19, 2019

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U of A App Helps Drivers With Haboobs

U of A App Helps Drivers With Haboobs
Tishin Donkersley

Haboob1

Arizonans are no strangers to haboobs during dust storm season. With a wall of dust reaching up to 5,000-feet-tall and 100-miles-long and winds up to 100 mph, motorists need to be aware of the dangers on the road to navigate during such weather conditions. With the Monsoon season in full swing, don’t forget to use the University of Arizona Dust Storm mobile app for iPhones that help motorists navigate through the storm.

Dust StormThis app uses a person’s geographical location anywhere in the country to identify the type weather conditions in the area-with warnings coming directly from the WeatherBug service.

The app was conceptualized by Kirk Astroth, UA assistant dean of Cooperative Extension and director of the Arizona 4-H Youth Development program in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“Dust storms are so common in Arizona, and so many people are killed on the road because they don’t know what to do,” Astroth said. “We wanted to help.”

According to a report by the Arizona Department of Transportation, 193 crashes in 2011 occurred in weather conditions resulting in two deaths and 140 people injured.

The app also offers tips on what to do during a storm, as well as, a survival kit guide with a place to list emergency phone numbers or insurance policy numbers, and items to keep in your car if you are expecting to drive through severe weather conditions.

The app offers these tips on what to do if a dust storm hits:

  • Do not drive through a dust storm
  • Do not stop in a travel lane or in the emergency lane
  • Look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway
  • Turn off all vehicle lights, including your emergency flashers

The app is available for free download on iTunes.

Images courtesy of U of A Communications

This article was originally posted in March when the app launched.