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Monsoon causes a haboob in Desert Southwest; flooding follows the storm into Saturday

On Friday, downpours helped pick up dust and dropped visibility to less than a mile south of Phoenix.



AUSTIN – More than simply rain fell across southern Arizona during a record-breaking monsoon season. On Friday, a haboob—a wall of dust—moved through the area, reducing visibility and pushing many indoors.

As a result of the low visibility caused by the haboob, the National Weather Service issued a Dust Advisory for the area south of Phoenix.

Simply put, a haboob is a wall of dust produced by thunderstorm or heavy rain-induced winds. Air rushes forth in all directions as a cell’s downdraft meets the ground, propelling minute particles into the atmosphere.

Videos from the area captured the breathtaking moments when, on Friday afternoon, around 4 o’clock, visibility decreased to less than a mile.

According to the NWS, the dust likely made driving conditions hazardous near and along the Interstate 8 corridor.


Communities near the U.S.-Mexico border experienced devastating rains in addition to the dust, particularly in low-lying and poorly draining areas.

According to Doppler radar, some thunderstorms generated more than 2 inches of rain, and additional heavy rain was predicted.

The National Weather Service has issued flood watches through Sunday for more than 8 million people due to the potential for further intense rain.

The areas most at risk for flooding on Saturday are projected to be in southern Arizona, New Mexico, and extreme west Texas. Tucson, Arizona; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and El Paso, Texas are included in this.

“Get off the roadways right away if you hear a Flash Flood Warning. It occurs quite quickly, “Britta Merwin, a meteorologist with FOX Weather, remarked. “You can find yourself surrounded by 6 to 12 inches of surging water in less than 15 minutes. You should therefore check that your notifications are turned on and that you listen to those warnings later today if you reside in one of these regions. “

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From southern Arizona to southern New Mexico, rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches are anticipated through late Saturday, with localized towns receiving up to 5 inches.

Precipitation is expected to significantly diminish to begin the workweek, which will benefit previously inundated towns.