Unseasonably early dust storm hits Phoenix area

A dust storm usually reserved for the summer monsoon season has rolled through parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

SEE PHOTOS OF THE STORM

The National Weather Service says a large cloud of dust was first spotted near Eloy about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A dry thunderstorm with winds of up to 35 mph kicked up the dust in southern Arizona and the massive cloud moved north to the Phoenix area.

Golfers scrambled for cover on courses in south Chandler while some small planes were temporarily grounded in the area until near-zero visibility conditions cleared.

Authorities say blowing dust along Interstate 10 north of Picacho Peak resulted in five non-injury crashes.

Arizona is no stranger to large dust storms or haboobs during the summer, but meteorologists say Tuesday's afternoon's dust storm was unseasonably early.

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