Posts Tagged ‘Dust Storm’

Massive wall of dust swallows the Phoenix area, again

August 20, 2011 Comments off


A layer of dust hovers over Gilbert, Ariz., on Thursday, in the Phoenix area's third major dust storm in weeks.

 A layer of dust hovers over Gilbert, Ariz., on Thursday, in the Phoenix area’s third major dust storm in weeks. / MATT YORK/Associated Press

PHOENIX — Metropolitan Phoenix was shaking itself off Friday after a giant wall of dust smacked the city for the third time in the last six weeks, turning the skies brown and coating anything left outside.

A 1,000-foot-high wall of dust traveled at least 50 miles into metro Phoenix and neighboring Pinal County on Thursday evening before dissipating. It reduced visibility, created dangerous driving conditions and caused some flight delays.

National Weather Service meteorologist Ken Waters said the size and power of three of the storms set this season apart. Thunderstorms moving through southern Arizona brought winds of up to Read more…

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Supersize Dust Storms Could Become Southwest Norm

July 13, 2011 1 comment


The massive dust storm that engulfed Phoenix last week was unusual for the 20th century, but could become more common in the 21st.

The storm resulted from thunderstorm-cooled air plummeting into the ground like mist pouring from an open freezer, only exponentially more powerful. Combine those winds with extremely dry conditions, and the result was a wall of dust 100 miles wide and 5,000 feet high.

Dust storms are common in the U.S. southwest, but not storms this big. No formal records are kept, but meteorologists said it was the largest such storm in at least 30 years. It was on par with storms seen in China’s Gobi desert and Australia. Some commentators invoked the apocalyptic storms of the 1930’s Dust Bowl.


As dry as it’s been in the southwest this year, with precipitation 50 percent below mid-20th century levels, there’s reason to think that extra-dry conditions will Read more…

TIME LAPSE Arizona Dust Storm July 2011

July 13, 2011 2 comments
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