NBC: “The Dust Storm that Swallowed Up an American City”

A massive dust storm has swept into the Phoenix area and drastically reduced visibility across the valley.

The wall of dust moved across the desert from the south on Tuesday and descended on the valley by nightfall. KSAZ-TV reported the storm appeared to be roughly 50 miles wide.

A 2-mile high, 50-mile wide Dust Storm enveloped Phoenix yesterday. Tonight, on NBC (video here), Brian Williams called it “The Dust Storm that Swallowed Up an American City.”


Back in April, the USGS released a report on Dust-Bowlification that concluded drier conditions were projected to accelerate dust storms in the U.S. Southwest. In large parts of Texas and Oklahoma now, the drought is more intense than it was during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

In 2007, Science (subs. req’d) published research that “predicted a permanent drought by 2050 throughout the Southwest” — levels of aridity comparable to the 1930s Dust Bowl would stretch from Kansas to California. Last year, a comprehensive literature review, “Drought under global warming: a review,” by NCAR found that we risk multiple, devastating global droughts worse than the Dust Bowl even on moderate emissions path. Another study found the U.S. southwest could see a 60-year drought this century.

So the monster dust storm — a haboob — that hit Phoenix is just the shape of things to come for the entire Southwest.

Here are more videos, via the Atlantic Wire:

Something future generations can thank us for again and again for a long, long, long time: NOAA: Climate change “largely irreversible for 1000 years,” with permanent Dust Bowls in Southwest and around the globe.

Below are the earlier comments from the Facebook commenting system:


Great Videos!

What is missing in the reporting of this historic event from the MSM?

Wide power blackouts, winds of up to 100 km/h or miles? — LET ALONE Information what the impacts are of such a dust whammy, how to prepare, aftermath and what does that mean for the environment.


Physical and environmental impacts.A sandstorm can move whole sand dunes. Dust storms can carry large amounts of dust, so much so that the leading edge of one can appear as a solid wall of dust as much as 1.6 km (1 mile) high. Dust and sand storms which come off the Sahara Desert are locally known as a simoom or simoon (sîmūm, sîmūn). The haboob (həbūb) is a sandstorm prevalent in the region of Sudan around Khartoum; storms are very common around Khartoum every summer. When it happens you can’t see anything but a wall of sand covering your view.

The Sahara desert is a key source of dust storms, particularly the Bodélé Depression[4] and an area covering the confluence of Mauritania, Mali, and Algeria.[5].

Saharan dust storms have increased approximately 10-fold during the half-century since the 1950s, causing topsoil loss in Niger, Chad, northern Nigeria, and Burkina Faso. In Mauritania there were just two dust storms a year in the early 1960s, but there are about 80 a year today, according to Andrew Goudie, a professor of geography at Oxford University.[6][7] Levels of Saharan dust coming off the east coast of Africa in June (2007) were five times those observed in June 2006, and were the highest observed since at least 1999, which may cool Atlantic waters enough to slightly reduce hurricane activity in late 2007.[8][9][10].

Dust storms have also been shown to increase the spread of disease across the globe. Virus spores in the ground are blown into the atmosphere by the storms with the minute particles then acting like urban smog or acid rain.[11].

Prolonged and unprotected exposure of the respiratory system in a dust storm can also cause Silicosis which, if left untreated, will lead to Asphyxiation. There is also the danger of Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (Dry Eyes) which, in severe cases without immediate and proper treatment, can lead to blindness.​ki/Dust_storm#Physical_and​_environmental_impactsJuly 6 at 8:46pm


Prolonged and unprotected exposure of the respiratory system in a dust storm can also cause Silicosis which, if left untreated, will lead to Asphyxiation. There is also the danger of Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (Dry Eyes) which, in severe cases without immediate and proper treatment, can lead to blindness.


-Asphyxia or asphyxiation (from Greek α- “without” and σφύξις sphyxis, “heartbeat”) is a condition of severely deficient supply of oxygen to the body that arises from being unable to breathe normally. An example of asphyxia is choking. Asphyxia causes generalized hypoxia, which primarily affects the tissues and organs. It can be caused by improper ventilation and charcoal burning in a closed room. Many incidents have been reported (death and coma).​ki/Asphyxia

That pretty much seems to resemble the ocean oxygen depletion — hypoxia. What a bright future for wast regions of the planet, indeed.

July 6 at 9:04pm

John Tucker

This was an unusually bad dust storm. The NWS in Phoenix set up a page for it — [​r/pns/2011/July/DustStorm.​php ] interestingly enough just a few days prior record temps occurred:





Considering the way these form I think it relevant. [​​m-out-in-arizona.html ].

July 6 at 9:11pmPeter S. Mizla

Is the future of the American southwest, great plains- and as far east as the Mississippi? Even another 1 degree rise C in temperatures increases the range of this new dust-bowl.

July 6 at 9:11pmSonni Will


July 6 at 9:12pm


2011: A major dust storm swept through the southern portion of the Desert Southwest U.S. State of Arizona on Tuesday, July 5, 2011. The dust storm was triggered from thunderstorms to the south of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Dust from the deserts were blown up by high winds. The winds were estimated to be over 60 miles per hour and caused low visibility. The storm went through the city of Phoenix a little after 7:00 p.m. local time. The event was captured and filmed by local media and was seen live on national television channels such as The Weather Channel.[22] Local flights in the area were delayed because of the storm. Power outages were also reported.[23][24]​ki/Dust_storm#Notable_dust​_storms.

July 6 at 9:16pm


So probably the largest dust storm in the history of Arizona, weeks after the worst wildfires in the states history ravaged the southern parts.

July 6 at 9:19pm


Here is an extended version of Joe’s post (check it out + feedback is welcome).

http://climateforce.wordpr​​dust-storm-swallos-up-an-a​merican-city/July 6 at 9:30pm


Copy past the url in your browser.

July 6 at 9:31pm

Lionel Smith

Source has been removed from that URL, found so at 11:10 BST.

July 7 at 6:13am

Jason Elsasser

Phoenix has already been suffering from the housing meltdown, leading to wealth destruction and high unemployment rates. Summer is barely liveable there in the first place, as highs in the 120’s are normal there. John and Cindy McCain can head to their villas in the mountains when it gets too hot, but most residents literally sweat it out.

Considering the recently accelerating pace of global warming, we can expect unliveable highs in the upper 120’s in the next few decades, with worse to come, along with major water shortages. Golf courses will become home to mesquite and jackrabbits, and the downtown will be right out of the Life Without People series, as desperate Arizonans emigrate. Don’t worry, though- the huge Far Right contingent there will think of a way to blame this collapse on liberals and foreigners- in fact, they already are.

July 6 at 9:31pmSally Aldrich

I’m a liberal living in “the valley of the sun” I’ve lived here 13 years and have yet to see 120 degrees. But keep talking smack as we don’t need anymore snowbirds or CA transplants.

July 7 at 2:19am


First Sally — you are a transplant. When I moved to Phoenix the population was 600,000 and there was farmland between the cities. I-10 wasn’t even finished into the city from the west. I have experienced 120, even 122 (the airport closed due to heat), and I’m telling you and the others that are new to the valley that this Haboob was nothing new or special. I’ve cleaned up after dozens of them. I got caught on a road on the Pima reservation near Scottsdale 30 years ago during one of these sandstorms and it scared the s*** out of me. It made the one here look fairly tame. Again, these dust storms have been pummeling the valley for a long long time. And bigger badder storms have happened. It’s just now there are video cameras in every phone and millions of people to witness. We didn’t have that way back when.

That said, I do believe that the future looks bleak, and climate change is real.

July 7 at 11:12am


And that’s why we need accurate observation, instruments, satellites “science” and witnesses input to make objective judgements and to analyze trends.

Meteorologists were still trying to get exact measures from satellite and radar to figure out how big the dust storm was and compare it with previous ones, but they estimate it was more than a mile high and more than 100 miles wide. “People who’ve lived here their whole lives, 30 or 40 years, are saying they’ve never seen a storm this large” http://climateforce.wordpr​​dust-storm-swallos-up-an-a​merican-city/

July 7 at 12:42pm


So when it suits us we quote the MSM?

” http://climateforce.wordpr​​dust-storm-swallos-up-an-a​merican-city”

But we slam the MSM when they don’t agree or carry the ball?

The report linked is from Charlotte Dewey of the NWS in Phoenix (via Cleveland) and has been repeated ad infinitum all over the web. I wonder how long Charlotte has been in the Valley? A quick search told me probably not long. BTW — The link you posted is a 404.

I’m here to tell you that what was witnessed is normal. As one example — I remember coming home from work one evening (I worked outside, and all over the valley, for many many years) and finding a good portion of my roof missing, 100 ft. of block wall flattened, a 10 foot trampoline laying in the street, and a wood patio table that didn’t belong to me floating in my pool after one of these storms. In fact, the storms were worse in the early years of my time in Phoenix. They got less intense starting in the mid-90’s. Maybe too much blacktop.

And there’s no satellite data that’s going to help. These storms have been omnipresent in the summer for thousands of years.

I no longer live in the valley because I realized that that lifestyle was unsustainable. I moved where water is plentiful and I don’t need a car or air-conditioning (or many other of the niceties I had become addicted to). In other words I put my lifestyle in line with my beliefs.

July 7 at 1:32pm

Greg Beale

This tears it. The 30s are back. We are in for it now. I hope thee deniers can make this all go away..fat chance!

July 7 at 1:00amAndy Olsen

Thanks for sharing and making the connections, Joe.

July 7 at 2:16amJohn Coover

Mother Nature, Earth bats last.

July 7 at 9:53am

John Coover

All those nice swimming pools have to be cleaned.

July 7 at 4:09pm

Climate Chaos

mmmmmm…. lets see….mega… dust/sand storms, tornados, floods, flash floods, mudslides, storms, firestorms, lightening storms, heat-waves, global record extreme temps, drought, hail storms, deluges, jellyfish infestations, coral… fish and bird die-offs. Oh, yes, also major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and tsunami activity. Nuclear meltdowns & explosions. Weird animal behaviour (including ours).​chaosSOS

All in the last 6 months. That’s pretty startling.Any guesses what’s going on?

July 7 at 3:01am


Collapse of giant Arctic ice shelf ‘incredible’

An ancient ice shelf has cracked off northern Ellesmere Island, creating an enormous, 66-square-kilometre ice island and leaving a trail of icy blocks in its wake.​onalpost/story.html?id=5e5​11719-09ec-4c3a-9dd1-69aa3​7c3014e&k=39191

July 7 at 4:41am

Matthew Kerby

God is angry. LOL!

July 7 at 11:50am

Tenney Naumer

@Prokaryotes — the link does not seem to be working — do you have another one?

July 7 at 2:50pm

Tenney Naumer

Nevermind, the event occurred in 2006.

July 7 at 2:52pm

John McCormick

That event is the future of the Southwest and western part of midAmerica. And, if you still think YOU AREN’T GOING TO VOTE FOR THAT WIMPY PRESIDENT OBAMA, read what the repugs are going to do to the future of all America if they take over the White House………..EPA BUDGET TARGETED IN REPUBLICAN SPENDING MEASURE… House Republicans outlined a fiscal 2012 spending bill on Wednesday that would sharply cut the Department of the Interior’s conservation funding and cripple the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from refineries and power plants The $27.5 billion bill represents a $2.1 billion cut from last year’s levels and is $3.8 billion below Obama’s fiscal year 2012 request for the agencies, which in addition to EPA include the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Forest Service and other related agencies. The Fish and Wildlife Service stands to lose $315 million from its budget, which amounts to a 21 percent cut, while funding for the National Park Service will remain stagnant. “Americans are sick to death of excessive government spending and regulation that is pushing us further and further away from economic recovery,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) in a statement. “This bill pinpoints and cuts extraneous, duplicative and unnecessary spending, prioritizes funding for programs with the most benefit to American families and businesses, and helps put a stop to free-wheeling government over-regulation.”

July 7 at 7:10amNina Rung-Hoch

Det er mere toert I AZ end I KBH…..

July 7 at 7:55amColorado Bob

Galveston , Texas.“ June set the mark for the highest monthly average temperature since the National Weather Service began keeping handwritten temperature records on the island in 1874, Meteorologist Charles Roeseler said…….. April 1 through June 30 also broke every three-month drought record in Galveston since 1871, the year the service began keeping precipitation records, Roeseler said…….. Recent fires in East Texas have burned tree trunks 3 to 4 feet into the ground, which normally is only seen in arid West Texas, Roeseler said.”http://galvestondailynews.​com/story/242790July 7 at 9:14amColorado Bob

The western part of the of Sichuan Basin and the northeastern part of the southwest China’s Sichuan Province had been hit by a three-day continuous downpour.Cities such as Bazhong and Guangyuan in northeastern Sichuan suffered most, with a precipitation over 300 millimeters at some areas during the new round of heavy rainfall.​NewsDetail.aspx?ID=18261July 7 at 9:17amMike Roddy

Sally Aldrich,

You must live in Scottsdale. Phoenix has recorded summer highs over 120, and summer averages result in roughly a tie with Las Vegas as the hottest major city in the world. Humid Delhi may be more uncomfortable- and may even be abandoned first- but there’s little doubt that the people of Phoenix are already living very much on the edge.

We don’t know what will happen when it gets a few degrees hotter. Mechanical systems might blow gaskets, and heat stroke could become common. If it gets 6 degrees F hotter- expected in most recent projections within a century- Phoenix will be colonized by criminals, lizards and snakes, since hospitals and insurance companies will no longer be able to support habitation there.

July 7 at 9:19amJohn McCormick

Mike, Dante could not have described life in the future Phoenix better than you have.

July 7 at 9:57am

Mark Freed

some 30,000 people died in europe due to record heat, just a few years ago.

July 8 at 1:52pm

David Metzger

another extreme weather event…Wild Winds Tear Up New South Wales.Thousands of homes are still without power and some rail services will remain closed due to gale-force winds that reached up to 140 km per hour west of Sydney, Australia​deos/327759-wild-winds-tea​r-up-new-south-wales?autop​lay=true.

July 7 at 10:22amJohn McCormick

Dave try this link to this important story. Your link did not work

July 7 at 11:53am

Bailey Struss

The way I see it, it’s just another eviction warning from mother earth. We’ll just toss it right along with the other warnings, but will soon find ourselves tossed out in the street.

July 7 at 1:13pm


the original dust bowl itself was caused by the combined destructive force of long drought and bad industrial practices (in farming and forestry, upstream).

the specific problem has changed — carbon pollution in place of bad land management — but the central lesson wasn’t learned: we can change the weather, we can change the climate, and cause ourselves pain.

July 7 at 2:25pm


Driving your car or even running its engine during a dust storm should be strictly avoided. Dust will clog its air intake and foul the engine oil. If you have to drive, change your oil as soon as the dust settles.

That goes for helicopters and planes, too.

July 7 at 4:36pmTenney Naumer

What was that movie in the late 1960s that had the ending line of “everybody over 30 has to go!”?

July 7 at 7:24pmMatt Orr

yeah keep deregulating industries, it’s really working out.

July 8 at 11:11am


(susan anderson)ClimateCentral has a good article on this. Trying putting brackets to see if it creates a link. If it doesn’t work, just cut and paste. Not the biggest haboob, but a trend and more expected. Neighbor arrived from Phoenix last night — dirty but not dangerous if you were indoors.<http://www.climatecentral​.org/blogs/climate-change-​and-the-phoenix-dust-cloud​-whats-the-connection/>

July 8 at 3:40pmCharlie Zender

Dust is lofted in windy and dry conditions. By examining climate records such as tree rings, we now know that the southwestern US experienced anomalously moist conditions through the early 20th century. Conditions that were the norm when many interstate water compacts were developed are now thought to be anomalously moist. The recent return to climatologically normal, drier conditions cannot be pinned on global warming. That said, most predictions agree that global warming will further dry the SW US (and most of the world’s sub-tropical deserts). Add this to the expected, natural return to drier conditions, and Joe is right that we should expect more such dust storms. And, to add a new dimension to this thread, the dust in Maricopa county (including Phoenix) is a source of coccidioidomycosis, aka San Joaquin Valley fever, an emerging infectious disease that is a drag on the health of the region, especially any immuno-compromised folks who live there.

July 8 at 4:39pmKendall Martin

LQQk! The signs of climate change are everywhere. What are you going to do about it?

July 8 at 4:48pmGeo Hernandez

Let’s all of us become mischievious.

Let’s create (expendable) accounts at:​/ and.


Then post these videos on their sites. You can only post ONE url of any kind on Steven Godless’ site or else be hurled into Spam Hell but I think that WUWT can multiple videos posted in one commentary box. 😉

July 8 at 11:07pm