A very large and historic dust storm moved through the Phoenix area on Tuesday evening, drastically reducing visibility and delaying flights at Sky Harbor International Airport.

The US National Weather Service says winds gusting over 50 mph cloud rapidly moved through Phoenix and the cities of Avondale, Tempe and Scottsdale.

Thousands of people were left without power after strong winds toppled trees.

The violent dust or sandstorm called a haboob, is a type of intense sandstorm frequently observed in the deserts of Arizona, including Yuma and Phoenix, as well as New Mexico and Texas. It can cause severe wind damage as well as damage from the dust.

In Chandler, winds toppled nine trees at the intersection of Chandler and Arizona avenues. Police officers used chainsaws and a tow-away truck to clear the debris, The Arizona Republic reported.

Meanwhile, the temperature in Phoenix hit high of 118 degrees F at Sky Harbor International Airport, breaking a 10-year-old record of 116 degrees recorded on July 2, 2001.

Phoenix has extremely hot summers and warm winter. The average summer high temperatures are some of the hottest of any major city in the United States, and approach those of cities such as Riyadh and Baghdad.

The temperature reaches or exceeds 100 degrees on an average of 110 days during the year, including most days from late May through early September. The temperature reached an all-time recorded high of 122 degrees on June 26, 1990.