Here's something in Phoenix you can enjoy during the summer and winter: obnoxious names for weather events.
It's nearly impossible to live in the Valley for more than five minutes without hearing the word "haboob," and yesterday, meterologists decided to piss on everyone's parade, and tell people that the Valley was covered in "graupel," not snow.
"Haboob" -- also known by the scientific name of dust storm -- is a dumb word.
Our colleague Ray Stern even discovered in summer '11 that the Pima word for dust storm is "jegos."
"It's pronounced more like "jeh-gis" than anything rhyming with Legos," he noted at the time.
"Jegos," we can get down with. "Haboob," we can not.
Then there's yesterday's snow/not-snow incident.
The second everyone acted like excited schoolchildren yesterday because they thought it was snowing, everyone in charge of their respective weather departments shouted out that it was "graupel" falling from the sky, not snow. Pardon us for not knowing it was graupel-ing everywhere.
The National Weather Service defined graupel yesterday as "ice pellets," which are "similar to hail and sleet." However, Wikipedia claims "graupel" is different from "sleet" -- which is defined as "ice pellets" -- so we're done giving a shit, because the word "graupel" is dumb.
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Now, let us know which word you think is the dumbest: "haboob" or "graupel."
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