Valley sees first dust storm of the year, haboob followed by rain and strong winds

The first haboob of the year moved into the Valley Tuesday, and over the course of two hours, stretched over 30 miles wide.

It formed near Picacho Peak just after 3 p.m. causing a couple of minor crashes in that area.


Drivers headed south on Interstate 10 pulled over at the Highway 587 interchange as they watched the San Tan Mountains seemingly disappear to the east.

"We suddenly saw this huge dust storm that looked like two in one. The mountains and the hills, we couldn't see any of them anymore," described Mary Joe Landreth.

A resident of Casa Grande for 25 years, Landreth said she typically equates dust storms of this size with the summer months and said this was as early a storm as she could remember.

In Sun Lakes shortly after visibility improved, the dust cloud became a rain cloud bringing a quick shower burst and wind strong enough to blow a trash bin across a parking lot near Dobson and Riggs roads.

The rain and wind moved in so quickly it caught a group of moms by surprise as they watched their kids play baseball in Ahwatukee.

The weather felt pretty wild from the stands, but in a matter of minutes the kids on the field were swinging for blue skies.

The National Weather Service canceled the dust storm alert by 5 p.m.

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