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.

Explore further: The future of global agriculture may include new land, fewer harvests

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Phoenix Weathers Dust Storm

Oct 15, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Phoenix Lander over the weekend successfully weathered a regional dust storm that temporarily lowered its solar power, and the team is back investigating the Red Planet's northern plains. ...

Lunar dust transport still a mystery

Dec 16, 2010

There are times when Moon appears to have a tenuous atmosphere of moving dust particles that are leaping up from and falling back to the Moon’s surface. First seen during the Surveyor and Apollo eras, ...

One year of the moon in 2.5 minutes

Jun 15, 2011

We don’t always have the time or ability to see the Moon every night of the year, but this video, from the Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio, uses data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter ...

Cosmic births revealed by disks of dust

Nov 15, 2010

By carving 'gaps' in the disks of dust that create and enshroud them, newborn planets are giving astronomers clues to locating possible new worlds.

Recommended for you

Coral growth rate plummets in 30-year comparison

3 hours ago

A team of researchers working on a Carnegie expedition in Australia's Great Barrier Reef has documented that coral growth rates have plummeted 40% since the mid-1970s. The scientists suggest that ocean acidification ...

Environmentalists and industry duke it out over plastic bags

4 hours ago

Campaigns against disposable plastic shopping bags and their environmental impact recently scored a major win. In August, California lawmakers passed the first statewide ban on the bags, and Governor Jerry Brown is expected ...

Global change: Trees continue to grow at a faster rate

6 hours ago

Trees have been growing significantly faster since the 1960s. The typical development phases of trees and stands have barely changed, but they have accelerated—by as much as 70 percent. This was the outcome ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

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.