Harmattan: a dusty wind from the Sahara that blows toward the western coast of Africa during the winter. As in, "In Lagos, the harmattan was a mere veil of haze, but in Nsukka, it was a raging, mercurial presence; the mornings were crisp, the afternoons ashen with heat, and the nights unknown. Dust whirls would start in the far distance, very pretty to look at as long as they were far away, and swirl until they coated everything brown. Even eyelashes. Everywhere, moisture would be greedily sucked up; the wood laminate on tables would peel off and curl, pages of exercise books would crackle, clothes would dry minutes after being hung out, lips would crack and bleed, and Robb and Mentholatum kept within reach, in pockets and handbags." —From the book Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (because how can I beat that example sentence?)
I thought the polar vortex was pretty bad. Not sure how I'd feel about the harmattan vortex. It sounds fairly nasty.