A massive sandstorm stormed raged through Phoenix Tuesday night, halting air traffic and initiating coughing fits across the the city. At its climax, visibility declined to zero. Disintegrating thunderstorms enabled gusts of wind to leave the area of precipitation and course downward.
Warning coordination meteorologist Ken Waters said that the magnitude of this event was really exceptional. He added that people who have lived in Arizona for 30, 35 years say this is the biggest one they've seen.
The storm was characterized by 60-mile-per-hour winds and reached 150 miles before it died.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport was closed for 45 minutes at 8:00 PM after visibility declined to one-eighth of a mile. Flights were canceled and some were deterred to Tucson and California.
Raging winds ravaged power lines, prompting loss of power to several thousand homes in the area. No serious injuries were reported.