Photos: Dust storm engulfs sky over Arizona, causes temporary closure of I-10

By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
July 06, 2018, 7:24:57 AM EDT

Several dust storms were reported across Arizona on Thursday afternoon, reducing visibility to near zero and packing wind gusts up to 60 mph.

Phoenix, Tucson and Casa Grande, Arizona, were some of the larger cities impacted by dust storms that blew across the region.

The limited visibility impacted traffic along Interstate 10 from Tucson through Phoenix with many motorists pulling off to the side of the road until conditions improved.

The interstate was closed in both directions due to blowing dust just southeast of Casa Grande late Thursday afternoon, but has since been re-opened. This was just one of several roads across the region to be closed due to blowing dust.

While visibility slowed traffic, the winds lead to some property damage with reports of downed trees across the area.

dust storm 4

(Photo/Joey Conway)

“This is the first taste of the summer monsoon this season,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Alyson Hoegg said.

“Storms developed Thursday afternoon across eastern Arizona from Tucson on northward," Hoegg said.

Dust storms of this nature occur when the front of a thunderstorm cell pushes air downward and forward. This kicks up dust into the air, resulting in reduced visibility. These also are sometimes referred to as haboobs.

"Because these are some of the first storms of the season, the ground is very dry and winds from the thunderstorms can easily create dust storms,” Hoegg said.

Additional dust storms will be possible across Arizona into the weekend as more thunderstorms are in the forecast.

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Arizona interactive weather radar

dust storm 1


dust storm 2

(Photo/Casa Grande Police)

dust storm 3

(Photo/Aaron Kluth)

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