An enormous dust storm called a "haboob” rolled into Phoenix on Monday evening, as seen in ethereal photographs shared on social media that night.
Arizona's monsoon season runs from mid-June and to the end of September and brings with it the big thunderstorms that churn up "haboobs,” the Arabic word for the dust storms common to the world’s deserts. The storms happen when thunderstorms create downdrafts, often called downbursts, that send aloft loose dust from the ground. The sediment is buoyed upward as a wall that moves in front of the storm, like illusionist smoke preceding a wizard’s army.
At its height, the Phoenix haboob’s wind gusted at more than 60 miles per hour, the Weather Channel said. Visibility in the area also dropped below a quarter of a mile. Parts of the Phoenix region experienced rain as the following storm moved in, with some of the area under flood watch.