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. Brain

    Yet another reason to not live there,as if 120 degrees for 4 months of the year wasn't enough or the fact that the water supply is running out... have fun Phoenixians!

    August 19, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      Phoenicians actually.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      it hasn't hit 120 yet, that happens more north. Get your facts straight.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • cameron

      might wanna get your facts straight before sounding like an idiot. No hotter when you factor in humidity than any other southern state..florida,georgia,texas. Southern Cali is more screwed than us with water. Sorry that your facts are just incorrect. Must listen to cnn and msnbc too much.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Punkass

      Well cameron, I live in SoCal and we just had a huge rainy season this past winter. Mountain run-off has caused lakes an rivers to swell. In fact, we had rainfall that is typically seen during an El Nino pattern putting us WELL above the average by January. Sooooo maybe you shouldnt be so sensative and make sure your facts are right before you start posting....just a thought.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shannon

      It doesn't hit 120 here....and even if it did, I'd take that over 95 and humid any day. Plus, dust storms are hardly an issue here, aside from a dirty pool and temporarily losing electricity (but APS is on that so fast you wouldn't even know what happened). As a matter of fact, I think they're quite beautiful and incredible to look at. They blow through rather quickly, rarely cause damage (especially compared to many weather events in other areas of the country), and there's usually RAIN behind them, something we "Phoenixians" appreciate wholeheartedly.

      But if you enjoy the snow, tornadoes, floods, humidity, wind, rain that lasts for hours, if not days and weeks, etc...then Phoenix is not for you. I prefer sunshine and the occasional thunderstorm. Oh, and being able to have a cookout in shorts and a t-shirt in January.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • B C Forbes

      The truth doesn't hurt unless it ought to.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |

      YES , WE CAN...YES , WE CAN(FISH CAN & TENT CITY USA)...WE WILL WIN IN WAR ON TERROR (30 whities or what are terrorists will never come back alive...thank you lord....aaamen).

      ARIZONA = UTOYA = GOVERNMENT‘S "AFTERLIFE" FLASH MOB AND 911(twin towers) = OSLO BOMBING(there was bombing just as in 911; however, there was no shooting in either NORWAY or Arizona….instead tear gas and theater on faces of multiculturalism maniacs while calling YOU a terrorists) !!!

      http://stateofterror.blogspot.com/ or http://stateofterror.wordpress.com/

      Whitie is fighting war on terrorism just to come home and be pronounced as terrorist...turned in Timothy, jobless, homeless ..YESSS, WE CAN...GABBY OPENED HER EYES (psychotic Tucson)


      Don't worry O(s)bama, you just saved lots of Dollars in your DEBT DEALS(DEAD & ILL) as those America best (Navy Seals) would also grew older and then you already know how it goes !!!


      August 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Robert

    Haboob? I prefer Haboobie!

    August 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Punkass


      August 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Joker

      Haboobies are elected Republicans!

      August 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • AZ Haboobie

      i love my big haboobies!

      August 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. anevay

    So glad the part of Cali I live in has had a stable weather condition of 79 degrees for 3 months now and a cool seabreeze after 5pm every night.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shannon

      Kinda like how Phoenix has fantastic weather 9 months out of the year. Dust storms are hardly destructive (aside from losing power for a very short time).

      August 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cuervo

    Caused no doubt by throngs of illegals running muy rapido through the desert.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • paulwisc

      You have a serious hate problem. Seek help.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • releasedtruth

      Hilarious. Arriba arriba, epa epa!

      August 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • C

      Too darn funny! 🙂

      August 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • AZ Haboobie

      huh? get a life.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John

    Why does god hate phoneticians? I used to live in that hell hole. Never again!

    August 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • gev

      Why would god hate people who work with phonetics? People who live in Phoenix are Phoenicians.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • AZ Haboobie

      good riddance! we all are having fun here in hell.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beefburger

      Hooked on phoneticians wurked for me! (You didn't live here, stop yer lyin!)

      August 19, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |

    its jesus

    August 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sortakinda

    A call is going out to "The Help" to bring mops and wiping cloths, just as soon as the dust settles.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. klarg

    Oh, no! It's called a haboob – more evidence that Obama is trying to establish an Islamic Caliphate! Someone call Glenn Beck and his Legions of Decency.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lily

    klarg, how stupid can you get ?!?!?!?

    August 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aletheya

      Uh, Lily, he was obviously being facetious. Here's a little help, if you're not familiar with the concept:


      Grow a sense of humor.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John Blackadder

    The dust must have gotten to Joe Arpeio again. He's looking for Obama's fake birth cert.
    Of course, he's on the political treadmill. No news is bad news, and any publicity is good publicity!

    August 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. the prophet

    two man in black are at your dr don't let them in!!!

    August 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. The Joker

    It's the end of the world!
    The aliens are causing dust storms over Phoenix.
    All Christians should stop breathing, to keep the dust out, and beginning praying fervently that Michelle Bachman will save them!

    August 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. the prophet

    let me get out here this is b....s...t

    August 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jose

    The dust cloud is really God trying to sweep away Jan Brewer

    August 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • AZ Haboobie

      haha, i wish we could be that lucky!

      August 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. AZ Haboobie

    It was really awesome looking, I live in the west valley and we sat out on our front porch and watched it roll in...creepy and awesome. my 3 year old daughter said that there were ghosts in it (she's been on a ghostbusters kick lately). it was even better when it brought the temps down 20 degrees! for those who don't live here...trust me it's not that big of a deal, other than making your car or pool dirty. besides that no destruction, just some cool entertainment from nature! i love the harsh beauty of the desert

    August 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
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