Report on massive wall of dust that hit Phoenix on July 5, 2011

A massive wall of dust moved through Phoenix, Arizona Tuesday night, July 5. Hurricane force winds up 81 mph. Thousands temporarily without power.

A wall of dust moved through Phoenix, Arizona Tuesday night (July 5, 2011), with sustained winds of around 60 miles per hour, close to hurricane force, according to KNXV-TV in Phoenix. At one point, wind gusts hit 81 mph in a Phoenix suburb.

Image courtesy EarthSky Facebook friend Randolf J Wendt.

The dust wall – commonly called a haboob – is a common sight in Phoenix, but not like this wall, which Phoenix residents said was one for the record books. The cloud stretched 60 miles wide, and turned the normally sunny skies of Phoenix literally black.

According to KNXV, long-time residents said they have never seen anything like this hit the Arizona capital.

Image by Jeff Hein, courtesy EarthSky facebook friend Randolf J Wendt.

KNXV also reported that thousands were temporarily without power following the massive dust storm, but that power has now been restored.

Read more from KNXV: Massive dust wall moves through Phoenix area

These images were posted on EarthSky’s Facebook page by our friend Randolf J Wendt. Thanks for this reporting, Randolf.

Bottom line: A massive dust storm moved through Phoenix, Arizona Tuesday night (July 5, 2011). It sustained hurricane force winds gusting up to 81 mph in some places. The storm left some Phoenix residents temporarily without power, but power has now been restored, according to KNXV-TV in Phoenix.

Deborah Byrd