Dust cloud covers Phoenix for third time this summer
A huge wall of dust moves over the Phoenix area on Thursday.
August 19th, 2011
10:37 AM ET

Dust cloud covers Phoenix for third time this summer

A massive dust storm rolled through Phoenix on Thursday, the third such storm to blanket its metropolitan area this summer.

The cloud of dust was 50 to 60 miles wide and 3,000 to 4,000 feet high, National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Leins in Phoenix said.

The dust reduced visibility to under a quarter-mile, was likely to blame for several traffic accidents and closed Sky Harbor International Airport for 40 minutes, according to a report in The Arizona Republic. More than 5,000 people lost electrical power at some point, and a few dozen structures and vehicles were damaged, the paper said.

Leins said the massive dust cloud, also known by the Arabic term haboob, was driven by 40-mph to 50-mph winds spawned by severe thunderstorms that form to the southeast of the Valley of the Sun, where Phoenix sits.

The storms push out winds that travel unimpeded through the desert, picking up dust, dirt and debris and carrying it over the valley, Leins said. Damage in these situations is caused by thunderstorms rather than the dust cloud, he said.

Thursday's dust cloud was the third to rip through the Valley of the Sun this year. Haboobs also enveloped Phoenix on July 5 and 18.

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Filed under: Arizona • Weather
soundoff (181 Responses)
  1. mizh

    Sure do wish I owned a car wash in PHX. Mine is always the dirtiest car there, amongst the shiny Mercedes and Jags and Cadillacs ... must drive those poor rich folks nuts!

    August 19, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Perrys mom

      We hire the mexican men to do mine.

      August 19, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Spike (the Pit Bull)

    Who's playing in the Dust Bowl this year? Is it still on New Year's Day?

    August 19, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. boogietime

    No one blamed Bush for this yet?

    August 19, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Perrys mom

      I want my boys boots in the ring. All 22 pairs. We can have them stay in the Lincoln room.

      August 19, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • palintwit

      It's not Bush. It's Sarah Palin and her family spreading more of their filth.

      August 19, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. Brownstain

    Jrrbus-s revenge on Joe Arpaio and jan Brewer the beener haters

    August 19, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. TCG

    Triple rainbooow

    August 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzz

      LMAO .....

      August 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jessica

    Enough with Sarah Palin already! It's not funny. To be honest none of your wisecracks are worth reading today. Ha!

    August 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • trigtwit... America's favorite tard baby.

      *** poot ***

      August 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Perrys mom

      It's about dust, theres only so much you can do with it. Light up, everybody, join us in the dust celibration.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Carolyn

    This is not surprising and is just the beginning of many more. Phoenix is a city that should never have been built. but hey, environmental degradation is not human caused. yeah, right.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Perrys mom

      Flood planes, california sliding into the sea, dust bowl, that 1/4 of america.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Yep. Phoenix residents are all sociopaths. Don't live in the desert. Pretty simple.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • sp

      And you should have never been born. We cannot control some things. Just have to live with it.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      What? That comment doesn't make any sense.

      Are you telling me that haboobs are man-made? Even though they form and develop in the middle of the un-inhabited desert?

      Secondly, what do you mean that this is the beginning of many more? These have been around for a long time. It's true that the July 5th one was the worst in several years, but there was one like it in 1992. And there were many more before and after that one.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Perrys mom

    It's dust what else can you say?

    August 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tom

    We AMERICANS call these things "DUST STORMS". WHY does the media continue to attempt to move us to use and/or accept a Muslim / Islamic term? Why not a Mexican term? Why not a Chilean term? Why not a Chinese term? The friend of my enemy is my enemy. Islam vows to destroy Western civilization. Do not ever forget it. Ever.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Perrys mom

      Keep beating that Tom-Tom?

      August 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • GoHaboob!

      American meteorologists have been calling these weather incidents "haboobs" for years. And, by the way, people who speak Arabic and are American citizens are still Americans. And weather terms do not have religious affiliations.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      and math teachers need to stop teaching Algebra. Muslims will destroy us if educators continue using this terrorist word.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • sp

      okay first of all Arabic and Islamic are not the same thing. Second it is just a term used for a single weather phenomenon and has its roots in the deserts in the middle-east. If your civilization is so weak that it is threatened by just a single foreign word then may be it does not deserve to be preserved.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Byrd

    50 miles?!!! It was supposed to be 150. Guess that wind generator needs some maintenance. All of the BS we've been subjected to from that state of disarray is darn tough to sandblast.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Blackwater Mercenaries

    All go to heaven when they die, and are not limited to just 72 of anything. The same can be said of the US military in general, who after all fight for God&Country. Except for the troops who are members of the muslim faith. The fight for Allah&Country, and are viewed as 'Renegades' in Mecca.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Byrd

      Boy, but are you and they going to be surprised....

      August 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ELH

    Done been haboobed again.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sanne

    Valley of the Dust......

    August 19, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Armando Romero

    Arizona is now cursed. The fact that they walked so many people out of this state is not going to make them any better. The truth is they are going to see disaster after disaster on the years to come.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • sp

      sorry my landscaper Sergio disagrees. He is a very nice man. 🙂 Stop believing what the media wants you to believe. Arizona just decided to enforce some existing laws, it is not the end of the world. Everything still is the way it used to be.

      August 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. justathought

    =======Did you ever notice that those who make the wise cracks are the ones who don't have to live through the catastrophes? Maybe they would like to be caught with their engine compartment so full of dirt that they can 't drive their car and then laugh!

    August 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
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