"Photos and video of the haboob that ate Phoenix on July 5 went viral on the Internet. News stories worldwide predicted a hotter, drier, dustier future for the 'Southwest Dust Bowl.'"
"The 'haboob' - an Arabic term for a violent, giant dust storm - was indeed biblical in its proportions. It was more than a mile high and at least 100 miles across, moving at 40 mph across a swath of Arizona that stretched from the Pima County line to the Colorado River in La Paz County, 250 miles away.
It was followed by five other dust storms, none quite as big, but big enough to alarm scientists and public health officials.
Don Gabrielson, director of air quality for Pinal County - source of much of the dust that blows through Phoenix each summer - said this summer has him rethinking previous assumptions."
Tom Beal reports for the Arizona Daily Star September 25, 2011.