Phoenix metro area hit by dust storm and monsoon


by Meteorologist Royal Norman

Bio | Email | Follow: @RoyalNorman

Video report by Marie Saavedra

Posted on September 6, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 7 at 8:53 AM

PHOENIX -- Another dust storm and monsoon blew through the Phoenix metropolitan area after dropping heavy rain in Tucson.

Winds from an approaching storm system around sundown Thursday pushed a 2,500-foot-high wall of dust over most of the Phoenix area, lowering visibility to a quarter-mile.

Officials at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport say the dust caused brief delays for some flights.

In Tucson, authorities pulled six people from vehicles in flooded roads. Tucson Electric Power Co. was working to restore power to 700 customers.

Arizona's monsoon season began June 15 and runs through Sept. 30.

In recent years, it has produced massive dust storms called "haboobs." Weather experts say haboobs only occur in Arizona, Africa's Sahara desert and parts of the Middle East because of dry conditions and large amounts of sand.

With three weeks to go in the monsoon, we might have a nice upswing in thunderstorm activity toward the end of the weekend. In the meantime, the atmosphere is very moist so pop-up thunderstorms can occur almost anywhere in Arizona.

In the Valley, the chances for measurable rain continue to be about 20 percent each day through Saturday. Then Sunday and Monday, we're increasing that chance slightly to 30 percent. Most of the storms will be in the mountains and in southern Arizona but at least we're working on a chance for rain in the Valley.

High temps will stay in the range of 100 this week, dropping into the mid-90s next week.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the greater Phoenix area

Weather warnings for Pinal County

Get the latest forecast for your neighborhood

The Associated Press contributed to this story