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Old 09-14-2010, 10:25 PM
 
55 posts, read 157,528 times
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I was talking to a friend about Arizona and they said that Arizona gets dust storms ALL the time that literally black out the sun.

Now I'm sure he is exaggerating this, but it made me curious: how often do you experience dust storms and have you ever had one truly "block out the sun"?

Ryan
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:45 PM
 
Location: AZ
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Definite exaggeration. I only saw a few dust storms this summer, and only a couple were relatively bad. But really it's not something to worry about.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Casa Grande, AZ (May 08)
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And did we even get ONE really big one this year? The ones that roll all the way from the west to east and are miles long? I dont remember it this year if we did?
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:35 PM
 
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I have seen a couple of bad duststorm between Phoenix and Tucson this year and I have seen onebad fatality on the road after a dust storm on I10 between Phoenix and Tucson, do not underestimate them, they can be bad.
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:24 AM
 
Location: South Tempe, AZ
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They can be bad especially out on that highway or if they pass through construction areas where the soil's getting dug up and moved around. But they don't happen that often (the season for them is the summer monsoon/thunderstorm season) and no, they don't "block out the sun".
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:09 AM
 
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Ya, our nick name is "Valley of the Dark Sun."
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by observer53 View Post
They can be bad especially out on that highway or if they pass through construction areas where the soil's getting dug up and moved around. But they don't happen that often (the season for them is the summer monsoon/thunderstorm season) and no, they don't "block out the sun".
They can be bad in winter (spring) too. I recall that big car wreck was from blowing dust in a winter storm. I40 near Flagstaff was closed half of March this year it seems due to blowing dust. As you point out, the major problem around PHX is in areas of disturbed soil - ag and abandoned ag fields especially. The worst of the dust is in the PHX area in the SE valley although no area is immune.

Do they block the sun? Well, no, but there is an very obvious yellow/orange discoloration and glow during blowing dust events and in the worst, dust gets in your eyes, coats the bottom of your pool and covers your outdoor furniture (the stuff that does not get blown into the pool).

Frequency depends on exactly where you live. In the far SW valley where I am dust storms even in monsoon are not that common because we have a lousy (weak) monsoon. We get some blowing dust in the winter, but to our SW where the winds come from there is just desert not human disturbed soils. If you live in Casa Grande, you get a lot of blowing dust during summer and winter. But overall, I'd say there are fewer than 10 days of really nasty dust in a year.

So "all the time" and "block out the sun" are very gross exaggerations of reality. Like scorpions, dust storms are something I have never heard anyone who actually lives here cite as a reason to not live here.

Last edited by Ponderosa; 09-15-2010 at 09:42 AM..
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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I've been here (Peoria) almost 3 years and haven't seen one yet. Monsoons are a little overrated too, more like a midwest thunderstorm. TV weather people go nuts at the thought of rain.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:14 AM
 
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I am planning on visiting Arizona this coming August. Was wondering how often these dust storms occur and if it rains during those storms, is the road not slippery with the mix of water and dust/sand?
Thanks,
Lynda
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:27 AM
 
Location: South Tempe, AZ
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It's hard to say how often. We don't often get one like the one we got last night, but there's been some sort of dust storm somewhere in the Valley every night for the last several days. It usually does not rain during these storms, the majority of the dust goes through first, then it rains. The roads don't get slick from any mixture of dust and water. What makes the roads slick during rainstorms most often here is the mix of the rain and the oil residue that is on the roads from cars, especially if it hasn't rained in a long time.
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