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Posted at 09:06 AM ET, 07/06/2011

Phoenix dust storm covers city in darkness (Video)


In this image from ABC15.com a large dust storm rolls across downtown Phoenix on Tuesday evening. (AP)
(Watch raw video of the storm here.)

A dust storm pushed across Phoenix on Tuesday, blanketing the city in darkness and leaving thousands without power.

The 50 to 60 mile wide dust wall, known as a haboob, was pushed by 60 mph winds across the Phoenix area, catching some residents off guard. One Twitter user wrote, “So tonight I went out to pick up our pizza order & 30 seconds later we were hit by the huge wall of dust that reduced our visibility to nada.”

(Gallery: Dust storm rolls across Arizona)

“The sandstorm ... was produced by the downdrafts of a collapsing thunderstorm complex generated by the Southwest monsoon,” the Post’s Jason Somenow explained. “When the downdrafts — made up of rapidly descending air — smashed down on the desert ground, they stirred up large amounts of sand and dust subsequently carried forth by the storm outflow.” Read more about the dust storm’s cause at the Capital Weather Gang.

Nearly 1,000 emergency phone calls were place to the Phoenix Fire Department during the evening hours, according to ABC15.

Watch videos our the dust storm below:

YouTube user TravNasty520 posted video of a car driving into the storm.

Video from Bizumpp show the dust wall moving over a shopping center turning the sky black, in footage that could easily be used in a disaster film. Watch the video, which contains some NSFW language, here. Watch video, with musical accompaniment, from RealScottsdaleliving:

Watch raw video and a time lapse video of the dust storm below:

By  |  09:06 AM ET, 07/06/2011

 
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