Massive Dust Storm Completely Engulfs City Of Phoenix
More familiar to the desert of Saharan Africa, the first massive dust cloud of the year has engulfed the city of Phoenix cutting off power to many homes and closing the international airport. A giant dust storm has developed across the Phoenix metro area in response to thunderstorms in the region.
Known as a haboob, which is Arabic for 'strong wind', the storm's yellowy grey dust cloud was traveling pretty fast. Caused by Arizona's monsoon season which begins in early June and runs through till the end of September, haboob's only occur in Africa, the Middle East, Australia and Phoenix, Arizona. The haboob temporarily blocked out the sun and covered everything in a layer of dust.
The haboob is a rare event and is caused by loose dust being blown upwards in the absence of rain and collecting skywards where it is then propelled by another more distant thunderstorm brewing behind it. It is destructive because of the fine dust particles that manage to permeate everywhere during the storm. The dust gets into everything, into every nook and cranny. It is one thing to see it from the ground, but when you are on top of a mountain and you still have to look up to see the top of it, you really start to grasp the size and magnitude of the haboob.
Dust storms are not naive because they carry a noxious mix of fungi, heavy metals from pollutants, chemicals and bacteria that could lead to cardiovascular and eye disease, and other illnesses.