What is a sandstorm?

A sandstorm is a storm of sand which occurs in sandy areas, usually a desert

Clouds in sandstorms can be huge and miles long. They can form very quickly and be as high as 10-50 feet (3-15m).

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What causes a sandstorm?

Sandstorms form when strong winds blow loose sand from a dry surface. Sometimes the wind is so strong it can blow the whole topsoil from the ground and carry it far, far away.

At first, the force of the wind makes the sand start to vibrate. Then the sand starts to jump, this is called saltation. As the sand keeps jumping and hitting the ground, it breaks off into smaller particles of dust which get blown away.


Sandstorm or dust storm?

Sandstorms are sometimes called dust storms. Sandstorms usually happen in the desert while dust storms are more common in cities. Both of them are made up of tiny particles of dust but sandstorms have more sand.


Did you know?

  • Sandstorms are becoming more and more frequent.
  • The strong winds that blow sand from the ground are usually caused by thunderstorms.