An apocalyptic wall of dust engulfed Phoenix, Arizona, making the landscape reminiscent of the recent massive dust storms on Mars.
The monsoon storm brought a wicked combination of high winds, thunder, lightning, walls of dust, heavy rain and hail to Arizona.
The dust storm called a haboob, limited visibility to near zero on Phoenix highways during the afternoon commute.
The National Weather Service in Phoenix issued several warnings of “near-zero visibility” and “life-threatening travel” due to the combination of intense dust, 50 to 70 mile an hour winds, and the afternoon sun reflecting off dust.
A haboob is an intense dust storm derived from the collapse of a storm system. As a thunderstorm collapses, it releases precipitation and wind gusts outward.
These downbursts can be strong enough to suspend particles, creating a wall of turbulent wind and dust/sand. Haboobs occur in arid regions and are common in the Sahara Desert in Africa as well as the arid desert of Arizona.