Monday Dust Storm Blinds Phoenix Area
Thunderstorms near Phoenix Monday night sparked an incredible dust storm called a "haboob". The definition of a "haboob" is looser than you might expect. There's no maximum wind speed requirement or minimum visibility that has to be achieved.
Here the outflow from a strong thunderstorm kicked up dust that climbed higher into the air. These haboobs drop visibility very quickly, so they can become dangerous to drivers.
The Phoenix airport recorded a 71 mph wind gust as this storm moved through, and the temperature dropped nearly 30 degrees in less than an hour! On average the state of Arizona sees 1 to 3 haboobs in a year, so they are unusual but not terribly rare.
The area has been experiencing monsoon conditions for days with more than one of these dust storms resulting.