Juliette, Fernand Return Southwest Flood, Haboob Threat

By Anthony Sagliani, Meteorologist
August 30, 2013; 8:43 PM ET
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Tropical moisture leftover from Fernand and Juliette will bring a renewed flood and haboob threat to parts of the Southwest.

These same areas were impacted by another plume of moisture associated in part from Tropical Storm Ivo recently.

Circulation around high pressure anchored near the Four Corners was helping to drive showers and thunderstorms into the Southwest.

According to Western Weather Expert Ken Clark, "A southerly flow of tropical moisture on the eastern side of the diminished Juliette has captured leftover moisture from Fernand."

The thunderstorms will bring rounds of potentially flooding rain and dust storms.

Cities that can be impacted by the storms include Phoenix and Yuma, Ariz., Las Vegas, Nev., and Palm Springs, Calif.

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On Sunday, the National Weather Service in Las Vegas reported that a 77-year-old woman was swept away in her vehicle and killed as rapidly rising waters overtook her car.

On Monday, powerful gusts of wind generated by thunderstorms around Phoenix spread outward, generating a huge dust storm that blasted though parts of the city well ahead of any rainfall.

A dust storm moves through Phoenix on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

In some places, wind gusts as high as 60 mph lofted dust 1,500-2,000 feet into the air. Residents said it looked like a wall of rusty sand rushing toward them. Inside the dust storm, visibility dropped to only a few feet, and driving was nearly impossible at times.

As the new tropical moisture plume works into the area from Mexico, dangerous, flooding rainfall and dust storms can be expected again through Friday.

On the positive side, this moisture is welcome in the sense that much of the Southwest is still suffering from severe to extreme drought, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

On days when it isn't raining, the wildfire threat remains very high, and that will be the case even after this next plume of moisture passes.

Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski contributed to the content of this story.


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