Phoenix coated with dust after massive storm

PHOENIX - The air around the Phoenix area is a hazy shade of brown after a massive dust storm rolled through Tuesday night.

A huge dust wall crossed the metro Phoenix area and drastically reduced visibility, halting all flights coming in and out of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport until conditions improved. Winds ripped up trees, tossed around lawn furniture and caused hazardous driving conditions.

(Scroll down to watch CBS News affiliate KPHO-TV in Phoenix report from inside the dust cloud)

The Arizona Republic reports the storm knocked out power to about 9,400 Salt River Project electric customers.

The white roof over Chase Field, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the venue for next week's Major League Baseball All Star Game is also coated with thick, brown dust.

The National Weather Service in Phoenix says there's a slight chance of thunderstorms Wednesday evening including blowing dust.

Massive dust storm envelops Phoenix

The dust cloud had formed in an afternoon storm in the Tucson area, and then rolled north across the desert before sweeping over the city like an enormous wave, said National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Iniguez.

Radar data showed the storm's towering dust wall had reached as high as 8,000 to 10,000 feet, or nearly 2 miles, he said.

"This was pretty significant," Iniguez told The Associated Press. "We heard from a lot of people who lived here for a number of storms and this was the worst they'd seen."

By the time the dust cloud neared the metropolitan area, it had started to dissolve but it still towered over the city with a wall of at least 5,000 feet, according to the weather service.

KSAZ-TV in Phoenix reported the storm appeared to be roughly wide in some spots. It briefly covered the city's downtown at around nightfall.

The storm was part of the Arizona monsoon season, which typically starts in mid-June and lasts through September.

The National Weather Service says strong winds with gusts of up to more than 60 mph in some places rapidly moved the dust cloud northwest through Phoenix and the surrounding cities of Avondale, Tempe and Scottsdale.

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