Massive Dust Storm Devours Phoenix Area

A 3,000-foot tall haboob marched into the Arizona city Friday afternoon.

1. A massive dust storm, known as a “haboob,” rolled into the Phoenix area Friday afternoon.

4. Local media began following the dust storm in the late afternoon as it moved into parts of Casa Grande, about 48 miles from Phoenix.

7. The storm moved north and engulfed everything in its path.

10. The dust cloud was 3,000 feet tall and 30 miles wide, according to ABC 15.

13. Flights in and out of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport stopped temporarily because of the storm. The airport was cleared for flights again at 8:10 p.m.

17. The storm knocked out power to 10,500 homes. By 8 p.m. MT, 8,800 were still without power.

19. Haboobs are created when downdrafts from a forming thunderstorm kick off lose dirt and silt. The word “haboob” comes from Arabic, which makes sense because these types of storms are common in near the Sahara.

22. Visibility was extremely low inside the dust cloud, with The Arizona Republic saying it “ranged from no visibility to 1/2 mile” before hitting Phoenix.

25. After the dust passed, a thunderstorm moved into the area. The National Weather Service also warned of flash flooding.

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