June 28, 2017

Giant dust storm sweeps across Arizona

A view of Arizona's particle fest rolling into Phoenix.

A giant dust storm 160km wide and 1.6 kilometres high, has swept across the US State of Arizona on Tuesday propelled by 100 kilometres per hour winds.

The storm moved through the state around dusk on Tuesday, halting airline flights, knocking out power for thousands, turning swimming pools into mud pits and caking cars with dirt. No not the cars!

Dust storms, often referred to by the Arabic name haboob, are hard to predict, and this haboob was no exception.

Out of nowhere the storm moved like a giant wall from the south. Inside the storm visibility dopped to zero, trees blew sideways, and even skyscrapers in downtown Phoenix became invisible.

“Where we are, it looks like Mount Saint Helens,” Jeff Lane, a spokesman with the Salt River Project utility, said.

“It looks like we had an eruption with all the dust that’s all over the parking lot,” he added.

The National Weather Service office in Phoenix called the dust storm “very large and historic,” in a statement posted on its website, describing the blow as an “impressive event.”