angeles. Now to phoenix. Imagine looking out your window and seeing this, a giant wall of dust, 2,500 feet high. As abc's neal karlinsky tells us, it's just the beginning of the extreme weather... See More
angeles. Now to phoenix. Imagine looking out your window and seeing this, a giant wall of dust, 2,500 feet high. As abc's neal karlinsky tells us, it's just the beginning of the extreme weather erupting there. Reporter: The giant dust storm that blanket phoenix late yesterday was so thick, so otherworldly people throughout the city took out their cameras to record it. This is insane. Look at this thing move. It's just moving quickly. Reporter: Time lapse captures it best. In this one, recorded by a private photographer, you can see a wall of sand so well defined, it looks almost like a hollywood special effect as it coats the city, turning daylight into an unhealthy brown haze. Mike olbinski was behind the camera. The winds were super -- weren't super strong. So there was dust and haze in the air for at least an hour after it hit. Reporter: At its peak around sunset, the cloud rose 2,500 feet into sky, causing some flight delays and forcing motorists to pull over for their own safety. This wall of sand and dust is known as a haboob. From the arabic word for wind. When it happens conditions have to be just right. A small, but intense downdraft is pushed forward by the front of a thunderstorm, picking up dust and debris as it blows in. When you see them, your visibility can go from unlimited down to zero in a very short period of time. Reporter: The dust storm was just the leading edge of a very bad 24 hours in phoenix. It was cleared away by a burst of sudden, heavy rain, a downpour that quickly flooded streets, paralyzing the city for much of today. The good news tonight, waters are already receding on some flooded roads. The bad news, dust storm, or haboob season lasts another three weeks. Neal karlinsky, abc news, seattle.
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