It's been a baller week for weird weather fans. From blood rain in Russia to a haynado in Oregon, it seems nature is finding new ways to mess with us every day – and, on Monday, July 9, it sent Arizona residents something particularly apocalyptic.
Huge hailstones rained down on Apache Junction, the Washington Post reports. Elsewhere, high winds snapped trees apart and torrential rain led to flooding in Phoenix. But the real spectacle – even among all this – was the haboob.
You may not be familiar with the word haboob. It describes a type of dust storm that occurs after a thunderstorm collapses, sending a burst of wind towards the ground. Dust is whipped up from the floor and sent out in a wall as the haboob moves out through the landscape.
All of which does nothing really to make you understand what a haboob is, which is this:
Yeah. A mile-high wall of destruction, engulfing everything it comes into contact with. The Phoenix National Weather Service tweeted multiple warnings urging motorists to pull over and "stay alive" as visibility dropped to within 30 meters (100 feet). And local residents took to Twitter to show the unbelievable extent of the storm's power.
The haboob left thousands of residents without power for days, according to local news outlet azcentral. The storm even affected cities as far away as Las Vegas, which reportedly saw more rain in one night than it had since January thanks to the inclement weather.
Although haboobs are a reasonably common occurrence in Arizona – even earning the nickname "Arizona monsoon" – Monday's storm was big even by local standards. But with the so-called monsoon season lasting until September, who knows how many more the Copper State residents will see in the coming weeks.