It's haboob season again in Arizona.
On Friday, a massive dust storm - some 3,000 feet high - swept across Phoenix and was captured on video by the local Sky 12 TV helicopter.
The dust storm - and nearby thunderstorms - knocked out power to as many as 12,000 residents, reported Azcentral.com. By 9 p.m. power had been restored to almost all residents in the affected area, reported Salt River Project.
The storm also forced a two-hour temporary "ground stop" on inbound air traffic to Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport from 6 p.m. until just after 8 p.m. Friday. Some outbound flights were also delayed by the storm.
The dust storm cut visibility on the roads, with reports ranging from no visibility to 1/2 mile just south of the Valley before the storm hit the Phoenix area.
Of course, this is not the first dust storm to envelope Phoenix. As The Christian Science Monitor reported last August:
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.
The Aug. 26, 2013 haboob that hit Phoenix came with 60 mile per hour winds, rain, and flooding. In July 2011, a massive dust storm hit Phoenix that reached heights anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 feet high, based on radar data. The storm appeared to be around 50 miles wide in some areas, KSAZ-TV reported at the time.
Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas have all experienced such dust or sandstorms.