It sweeps across Afghanistan's desert steppes and mountains at speeds that can top 100 mph, pummeling the country relentlessly with sand and dust.
Known as "The Wind of 120 days," the phenomenon is a blessing and curse for the millions of people who live in its path.
"We have a saying," said Bagram resident Mohammad Safa, 54. "If you eat poison little by little, eventually you'll get used to it."
The winds usually blow between June and September, they have arrived early this year , making it difficult to see and sometimes hard to breathe. But in the dry summer heat, they also ease the sweltering.