A Phoenix dust storm brought a massive cloud through the Arizona city that choked out roadways and swallowed its baseball stadium whole.
The dust storm, known as a haboob, brought wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour and lowered visibility in some places to less than a quarter or a mile. The storm also brought heavy rains, placing some areas under a flood watch.
Dust storms of this magnitude are common during the mid to late summer as thunderstorms create downdrafts that can kick up clouds of dust and dirt into the air. As the front moves through it carries the dust with it, creating what appears to be a giant moving cloud of sand.
Haboobs need very specific conditions, and only take place in Arizona, the Sahara desert, and some areas in the Middle East. The storms can be destructive, forcing closures and delaying airline flights, and the aftermath of dirt and sand leaves quite a bit of clean-up for those affected.
On Monday the dust storm moved through Phoenix, descending on Chase Field downtown as the Arizona Diamondbacks were playing the San Diego Padres. Fortunately, the stadium has a retractable roof built to protect against temperatures that top the 110s in mid-summer, so fans at the game were able to steer clear of the giant dust cloud.
As the storm system moved through it did some minor damage including downed power lines and trees closer to the Tempe area, but there were no reports of injuries.
The rain from the storm also forced several roads to close over the weekend as runoff from overflowing creeks left mud, rocks, and other debris scattered across roadways in the Bullhead City area.
Though such storms are common, the Phoenix dust storm that struck this week was more widespread than other haboobs seen this summer, an official at the National Weather Service said. By the time it was done, the storm had knocked out power to more than 10,000 customers..