This Apocalyptic-Looking Dust Cloud Engulfed Phoenix, Causing All Kinds Of Damage…

These incredibly powerful images have captured the huge dust storm that enveloped Phoenix and much of the rest of Arizona this past Friday, bringing down trees and power lines and grounding numerous flights as it went. The monstrous cloud was about 3,000 feet in height and 30 miles wide and it moved through Phoenix at around 5.30pm, bringing powerful thunderstorms and driving winds.

This was the second such dust storm to engulf Phoenix and the state of Arizona this month, which meteorologists are saying is common for this time of the year. Nick Wiltgen, a weather.com meteorologist, said:

According to NOAA’s Storm Events Database, Maricopa County had 50 days with at least one dust storm reported between 2000 and 2013, an average of three to four dust storms per year.

That said, formal criteria for a dust storm warning require visibility of 1/4 mile or less, so it’s possible that quite a few incidents of blowing dust aren’t included in that figure.

About 12,000 homes had their power cut during the dust storm, with most power outages occurring in the southeast Valley and Apache Junction area. At 6pm, authorities at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport issued a “ground stop” for all incoming flights. The airport reopened at 8.10pm.

Violent thunderstorms then followed the dust, bringing along heavy rains, strong winds and low visibility to the city, USA Today reported. (Scroll down for the videos.)

1. A massive dust storm covered Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, but meteorologists say it’s common for this time of year.

This Apocalyptic-Looking Dust Cloud Engulfed Phoenix, Causing All Kinds Of Damage...

2. The massive dust storm turned the sky brown over Phoenix on Friday.

This Apocalyptic-Looking Dust Cloud Engulfed Phoenix, Causing All Kinds Of Damage...

3. A massive dust storm shrouded Phoenix, Arizona on Friday evening.

This Apocalyptic-Looking Dust Cloud Engulfed Phoenix, Causing All Kinds Of Damage...

And here are the videos:

Sources: weather.com, USA Today.

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