Apocalyptic time-lapse video of massive Phoenix dust storm

Jul 07, 2011 By Nancy Atkinson

This isn’t space and astronomy-related, but this video of the massive dust storm that swept through the Phoenix area yesterday is just amazing, if not apocalyptic! Mike Olbinski, a photographer from the area shot this timelapse, and on his website says, “There are really not many words to describe this dust storm, or what we call it here (and they also do in places like the Sahara Desert)... a haboob. This was a haboob of a lifetime. I’ve lived in Phoenix for my entire 35 years of existence and have never seen anything like this before. It was incredible.”

Olbinski stood on the top of a 4-story parking garage and said people everywhere were snapping photos and video, “like madmen.”

Olbinski says he wishes he could have shot five more seconds of video, but the dust was so thick, daytime turned into night instantaneously. He also has an amazing black & white photo of the event posted on his website.

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User comments : 2

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GSwift7
not rated yet Jul 08, 2011
The headline monster strikes again, and the photographer quoted above is obviously not an expert. These things are fairly common and short-lived. There was one in Kansas when I lived there less that 20 years ago, though I don't remember the exact year. They look really cool but they are fairly harmless. The Phoenix area has had these things many times before. It's fairly easy to look it up on Google.
Shelgeyr
not rated yet Jul 08, 2011
Nice footage, but I'm especially fascinated by what's apparently going on in the cloud line immediately above the dust wall. I'd love to hear what the data concerning that was like, if such data was collected... stuff like aerosol density over time/distance, changes in the electrical fields, wind vectors, that sort of thing.

From an amateur's point of view, I can't immediately tell which direction cause/effect is running, or even if it is - in other words the advancing "frontal" effects above and below may have the same (other) cause, and not be a case of one causing the other. I wish I knew.

Anyways, thanks for the video - it certainly hit my curiosity switch.

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