Historic dust storm moves across Phoenix metro


by Jim Jagneaux

National Weather Service

Posted on July 5, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 5 at 10:17 PM

PHOENIX -- The National Weather Service in Phoenix issued a local dust storm warning Tuesday evening for northwestern Pinal County in south central Arizona eastern Maricopa County in south central Arizona.

There was a 'Ground Stop' in effect, which means all flights coming in our going out of Sky Harbor Airport were halted.

Communities impacted included: Sun Lakes, Ahwatukee, downtown Phoenix, Peoria, Apache Junction, Avondale, Chandler, El Mirage, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Goodyear, Laveen, Liberty, Litchfield Park, Luke AFB, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Sun City, Surprise, Tempe, Tolleson, Waddell, Youngtown, Maricopa, Olberg, Bapchule, Kings Ranch, Chandler, Heights, Arizona State University, Sky Harbor Airport, East Mesa, downtown Scottsdale, Glendale sports complex, Phoenix International Raceway, South Phoenix, Glendale and Phoenix Mesa
Gateway Airport

Major highways impacted included:

Superstition freeway US-60
Red Mountain loop 202
Santan loop 202
price freeway 101
Apache trail Arizona 88
Pima freeway 101
Papago freeway I-10
Agua Fria loop 101
Black Canyon freeway I-17
Maricopa freeway I-10
grand Avenue US-60
Beeline Highway 87
Arizona 347
Arizona 587
Pioneer Parkway Arizona 79
Oglesby Road Arizona 85

Dangerously low visibilities have been reported throughout the East Valley and this area will be spreading through much of the remainder of the Phoenix metropolitan area

A local dust storm warning is issued when winds have generated large areas of blowing dust or blowing sand that have substantially reduced visibilities, to 1/4 mile or less, resulting in very hazardous driving conditions in some areas. Be ready for a sudden drop in visibility to near zero. If you encounter blowing dust or blowing sand on the roadway or see it approaching, pull off the Road as far as possible and put your vehicle in Park. Turn the lights all
the way off and keep your foot off the brake pedal.