What is a Sandstorm?

Sandstorm research

What is sandstorm ? It is a meteorological event that is very frightening because of the image it produces. Sandstorm occurs in arid and semi-arid regions where there is no vegetation.

Sandstorms occur during the summer months. It usually occurs in deserts or sweat that is abundantly sandy near deserts. However, it can be seen exceptionally in places with semi-arid climates.


Grains of sand cannot easily rise from the ground and take off like dust grains. When a wind speed of more than 40 km occurs; grains of sand rise from the ground and form a sandstorm. The sand grains involved in the sandstorm generally do not exceed 1 mm in diameter. Sand particles with an average diameter of 1mm take off; with the strong wind and move forward; revealing the appearance of the wind. The appearance of grains of sand that takes the shape of the wind can become terrifying. Sandstorms can rise and progress up to 15-20 meters above the ground.

Most of the sand particles in the sandstorm can have a diameter of 0.8 – 1 mm and usually reach a height of 3 – 15 meters; but there have also been those that reach 1500 meters. Generally, the height of the sandstorms is directly proportional to the wind strength; and they have speeds of at least 40 km and can appear suddenly. What is sandstorm ?

Damages of Sandstorms

Sandstorms increase air pollution. May cause respiratory distress. It can pose vital risks in the elderly and children. In sandstorms, which can turn into disasters, sand piles that can reach a height of 4-5 meters can be seen on the roadside at the entrances of the houses. Airports, roads, railways, tunnel entrances, highways and strategic locations can be covered with sand cover. Transportation is disrupted, visibility becomes narrower. Sandstorms can be both vertical and horizontal. When it is in the vertical direction, they can rise from the ground for kilometers in the atyphosphere with the effect of the eddy. This rise can even sometimes go up to the level of tropopause, which is the layer of the atyphosphere.

Therefore, sandstorms have a very special place in aviation. Flight safety is always under threat on flights over deserts. A sandstorm that may occur may obstruct both the horizontal and vertical view. Grains of sand can enter the engine part, and therefore great damage can occur until the plane crashes.

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