Phoenix Dust Storm Engulfs City, Turns Day to Night

A massive dust storm swept into the Phoenix area yesterday, drastically reducing visibility and delaying flights as strong winds brought down trees, leaving thousands of residents across the valley without power.

The gigantic "wall" of dust, which radar data showed to be roughly 50 miles wide and 8,000 to 10,000 feet high, moved across the desert from the south on Tuesday and descended on the valley by nightfall.

"This was pretty significant," meteorologist Paul Iniguez told The Associated Press. "We heard from a lot of people who lived here for a number of storms and this was the worst they'd seen."
Residents rushed inside as sand from the storm blasted the area in winds of up to 50 miles per hour, the National Weather Service reported. Near zero visibility forced drivers to stop on area roads until the worst of the storm passed.

The Federal Aviation Administration also was forced to stop Pheonix-bound flights until 9pm due to the extremely low visibility conditions.

According to weather experts, the huge storm was part of the Southwestern US monsoon season, a time when summer thunderstorms produce downdrafts that can kick up dry, loose sand on the dessert floor, creating a wall of dust that travels outward, spanning a much larger area than the thunderstorm itself.

Here is a clip courtesy of Youtuber Asdzaan, showing the massive Phoenix Dust storm in action.

via CSM