More dust expected after unseasonably early AZ storm - Tucson News Now

UPDATE

More dust expected after unseasonably early AZ storm

Viewer photo of the dust storm in Casa Grande. (Source: Blanca N Willy Valenzuela) Viewer photo of the dust storm in Casa Grande. (Source: Blanca N Willy Valenzuela)
Viewer-submitted photo of the storm in Eloy. Viewer-submitted photo of the storm in Eloy.
Our news helicopter captured the breadth of the dust wall. (Source: CBS 5 News) Our news helicopter captured the breadth of the dust wall. (Source: CBS 5 News)
The wall of dust rolled up into the Valley, hitting East Mesa and Apache Junction. (Source: CBS 5 viewer Fernanda Belen Lorca) The wall of dust rolled up into the Valley, hitting East Mesa and Apache Junction. (Source: CBS 5 viewer Fernanda Belen Lorca)
The dust storm passed over Interstate 10 near Riggs Road. (Source: Viewer Karen Calcagno) The dust storm passed over Interstate 10 near Riggs Road. (Source: Viewer Karen Calcagno)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

An unseasonably early dust storm packing high winds rolled up into the Valley Tuesday afternoon and more of the same is expected Wednesday.

CBS 5 Chief Meteorologist Chris Dunn said Tuesday's storm that approached from the southeast was a rarity for March, a convective-induced dust storm.

A wind advisory was issued at 8 a.m. Wednesday for parts of southwest and south-central Arizona, including Phoenix, said CBS 5 Meteorologist Katie Baker.

Baker said winds between 25 and 35 mph and gusts up to 45 mph can be expected from 1 to 8 p.m. Wednesday coming from the west in a more traditional pattern for this time of year.

A blowing sand and dust advisory was also issued for the same time frame with visibility at times expected to be less than two miles, Baker said. Areas of Interstates 8 and 10 between Phoenix and the Colorado River are included.

The strong winds also prompted a high-pollution advisory for the Phoenix area until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality said the winds approaching from the west Wednesday are expected to generate a considerable amount of dust in the metro area, creating an unhealthy level of particulates.

Maricopa County issued a no-burn warning for Wednesday that also includes individuals and businesses with burn permits. Residents were asked to avoid using leaf blowers and other items that would stir up particulates.

Tuesday's storm came from the southeast, reminiscent of the more traditional haboobs during monsoon season, Dunn said.

"What that means is a high-based rain shower that produces a strong downdraft of wind that kicks up lots of dust on the desert floor," Dunn said.

"We typically see this during the monsoon when convective-type showers are fairly common. But it's not the normal blowing dust we see in March, and what we'll likely encounter during the afternoon on Wednesday," he said.

Officials at Sky Harbor International Airport said the storm did not impact operations or flights.

Earlier, clouds of dust affected the Interstate 10 corridor between Casa Grande and Phoenix and Interstate 8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend.

Blowing dust cut visibility to near zero in many locations.

Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Carrick Cook said there were at least five motor vehicle crashes along I-10 north of Picacho Peak. He said no injuries were reported. 

Upload your photos of the dust storm to our Facebook page.

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.

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Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO broadcasting corporation). All rights reserved.

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